For the avid Twitch users out there, myself included, here’s a little food for thought. Twitch has announced the “Twitch Turbo” service, a monthly fee tier that allows viewers to watch live streams completely uninterrupted by ads. The service costs $8.99 per month, and aside from netting you an ad-free experience, you will also get preferential treatment in regards to Twitch’s customer support line.
Additionally, there are a few other chat benefits awarded to those who “shift into Turbo.” (People still remember Power Rangers, right?) They are: An exclusive badge so you can, “show everyone how turbo you are…” a custom Emoticon set exclusive to Turbo users and an extended variety of chat color fonts to choose from.
“We wanted to find a way to provide the ultimate Twitch experience,” said Twitch CEO Emmett Shear in a statement. He added, “We’re very excited to launch it, and we’ll be looking to the community to help us make Twitch Turbo even … ultimatier.”
It’s also worth noting that those of you who use a Justin.tv pro account to access Twitch will have to cancel your pro account and sign up for Turbo to access your pro-level benefits, as the pro accounts will no longer be supported by Twitch. Don’t shoot the messenger.
Adding a paid tier is alright with me so long as they’re only adding features to the service, as opposed to taking away once-free features and then forcing folks to pay for them. Luckily in this case it’s the former. I will admit that the $8.99 a month price tag is a bit intimidating. As I’ve mentioned before, I watch a lot of tournament play on Twitch and I have to admit the advertising has never really bothered me all that much. I rarely take advantage of the chat functionality so the added incentive there does absolutely nothing for me. I’m also wary that this new fee will become mandatory when the next-gen consoles start integrating live-stream tech as application services. Xbox Live rarely foots the bill when it comes to other services. (I’m so glad I couldn’t watch Monday Night Football on my Xbox this season just because I don’t have FiOS.) And since it’s almost a guarantee that both the PS4 and “Durango” will both feature some sort of streaming capabilities, it’s worth keeping in mind.
What do you folks think? Are you active enough on Twitch that you would consider tacking on another monthly fee on top of the usual phone data/Netflix/Hulu Plus/Xbox Live fees that are a part of most of our lives?