Photo Credit: Caspar Camille Rubin

The monthly price for ad-free viewing on Twitch is about to go up. Twitch Turbo is jumping from $8.99 to $11.99 in the United States. 

The price increase isn’t limited to the U.S. though, with prices going up across the globe for that ad-free viewing. Twitch Turbo subscribers were notified about the price increase in an email yesterday, with Twitch Support documents now showcasing the price increase for various countries. Current subscribers will continue to pay the $8.99 rate for three more months. 

“If you don’t renew within the next three months, your Turbo subscription will stop renewing on August 31, though your benefits may extend into September depending on your sub renewal date,” Twitch told its users. Many users are unhappy that a $3 price hike brings no new features. Meanwhile, some users are reporting as much as a 60% price increase in their region.

“I paid for Turbo because it was relatively cheap and worked 99% of the time. A casual 60% price increase in my region means I’ll go back to adblocking and throwing a couple of dollars at the streamers I watch every month,” one user wrote on reddit about the news of a Twitch Turbo price hike. 

“$11.99/month? Are they nuts? At that rate, I can subscribe to YouTube Premium and access a much wider array of content. And to be completely honest, the only reason I kept Twitch Turbo around was that it was cheaper than the price of two Twitch channel subscriptions. I will not be renewing,” says another

The rising cost of subscriptions has many people across the globe paring down their entertainment budget. Spotify decided not to raise prices yet, despite its competitors Apple Music and YouTube Premium doing so. 

“We’d like to raise prices in 2023,” Daniel Ek told investors during the Q1 2023 earnings call. But he cautioned the decision will revolve around ongoing negotiations with label partners. “When the timing is right, we will raise it and that price increase will go down well because we’re delivering a lot of value for our customers,” Ek continues. 


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Greta Van Fleet, one of the acts with “Band Tees” digital merch on Snapchat. Photo Credit: Troy Larson

Snapchat (NYSE: SNAP) has partnered with Universal Music Group’s Republic Records to launch “Band Tees,” a Bitmoji-centered digital-merch collection featuring avatar apparel from The Jonas Brothers, Lil Wayne, and others.

The Snap-owned social and messaging platform, which reported having 383 million daily active users during Q1 2023, unveiled its Republic virtual-item tie-up today. As part of the union, the companies have collaborated on “digital merch tops” from the above-mentioned acts as well as Greta Van Fleet, Kim Petras, Metro Boomin, and Nicki Minaj.

And while the Band Tees collection will presumably expand to include additional creators and labels in the future, Snapchatters can at present equip their Bitmoji avatars with virtual t-shirts and/or hoodies from the noted artists.

A cursory glance at the appropriate (free) option shows that most of the digital clothing promotes artists themselves as opposed to individual projects. But The Jonas Brothers’ recently released The Album, which the group has likewise marketed with partnerships on Candy Crush Saga and TikTok, is featured on a portion of the intangible apparel. (The three-piece band is also preparing to embark on a 35-date stadium and arena tour in August.)

Similarly, Metro Boomin’s Band Tee reads “Boominati,” whereas another decidedly straightforward Band Tee showcases a red star. Needless to say, it’ll be worth keeping an eye on the offering in the approaching months and years, particularly to see how it’s leveraged around new releases, tours, and even physical merch lines.

More broadly, the initiative represents the latest in a series of music-focused endeavors for Snapchat, which says it boasts north of 750 million monthly active users.

“Snapchat’s Sounds, AR Lens technology, and our Live Nation partnership have proven to be a powerful distribution tool for artists and creators to expand their creative canvas and share their music globally,” communicated the platform, which built out Sounds in February and is zeroing in specifically on live-music AR experiences.

On the licensing front, Snapchat – which has only had agreements in place with all three major labels since late 2021 – last month revealed deals with UnitedMasters (including grant eligibility for its artists), Buma/Stemra, and SUISA, the latter of which had sued the Santa Monica-based platform for copyright infringement in 2022.

When the market closed today, Snapchat stock was worth $9.78 per share, reflecting a 10.5 percent improvement since 2023’s beginning. The company is scheduled to post its Q2 earnings on Monday, July 24th.

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