More than a year and a half after spending nearly $1 billion to acquire game-focused livestreaming service Twitch, Amazon’s finally doing something you’d have expected them to try sooner: Putting big “Buy” buttons on streams of some new games, so you can grab ’em while you’re watching ’em.
Games from more than 20 publishers, will soon be sold directly digitally through Twitch livestreams, the Wall Street Journal reports.
It makes perfect sense, when you think about it. Watching a live stream of someone playing a game on Twitch is entertainment, sure… but it’s also a perfect informercial. After watching a few hours of someone playing League of Legends, Overwatch, or whatever 2017’s big hit turns out to be, you may decide you’d like to give it a whirl, too — and putting the “buy” button right there with the video makes that, as the marketers like to say, frictionless for you.
It means you don’t navigate away from the video to shop, nor do you forget to go look up and buy the game — and it also means you don’t go price-comparing elsewhere. That’s all a win for Amazon.
It’s also a way for the streamers themselves to make some cash. Developers will receive 70% of the game’s sale cost, the WSJ reports (that’s in line with the cut debs get from selling games through Google or Apple’s digital storefronts), but Twitch will only keep 25% of the remaining 30% — and the 5% difference goes to the streamer whose page generated the sale.
That said, not every streamer can participate — and the ones who do, will be doing so whether or not they want to. The buy button will only appear on launch games being broadcast by the roughly 17,000 streamers in Twitch’s partner program, the WSJ explains. Those are the folks who are already set up to monetize their streams through advertising, and who have access to certain power-user and subscriber management tools. And those partners will not be able to remove the button when it appears.
It’s not just the titles themselves that are for sale, the WSJ adds; viewers will also be able to grab various DLC through livestreams, too. Really dig that new appearance pack the streamer is using? Click here, and it can be yours.
Amazon to Sell Game Downloads Directly From Twitch Streams [Wall Street Journal]