Twitch is a video game broadcasting and chat community that lets gamers watch live streams of other gamers. The company has been relying on advertising as their primary source of monetization, but they have now launched an $8.99 per month plan to provide ad-free viewing. Twitch Turbo users will be able to stream events, matches, and tutorials without any pre-rolls or overlays.
The Turbo users will also get improved chat features like a new set of colors and emoticons to use while chatting. Turbo users will also get priority customer support and a badge to recognize them as a paying subscriber. Twitch VP of Marketing Matt DiPietro said that Turbo was created after extensive research from users about what type of features they would be willing to pay for. Flexibility around chat was one of the most voted features. DiPietro said that streaming partners will still get paid for impressions that come from Turbo users even if the viewers do not see any ads.
Twitch has been on a roll. Last month they announced their first in-game broadcasting deployment on a game console. Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 gamers are now able to connect their Twitch account and instantly stream from the Xbox. This same capability is coming to the Sony PS3 and desktop versions soon.
Twitch spun out from streaming video company Justin.tv and raised $15 million from Bessemer Venture Partners this past summer. The company is hitting over 23 million unique viewers per month. They streamed 6 billion minutes of video in December alone.