Amazon bought Twitch in 2014. The companies have remained largely separate in the years since, with the most notable crossover being the inclusion of a Twitch Prime membership with an Amazon Prime subscription. However, a new feature called Gear on Amazon will change that by letting you buy the components, peripherals, and other equipment used by your favorite streamers. Twitch is about to become a shopping catalog.
Even without the corporate synergy (ugh, sorry), Gear on Amazon makes a lot of sense. Streamers are constantly asked about their setups, to the point where many set up chat commands that answer inevitable questions like "what mouse do you use?" or "what keyboard do I hear click-clacking away?" Chances are good that many of the people who ask those questions then go to their retailer of choice to buy the same products.
Amazon clearly wants to be that retailer of choice, and this feature can help make that happen. People are lazy, and following a link to an Amazon page removes a bunch of steps between asking a streamer what CPU they use and buying that same processor. And, just to sweeten the pot a little bit, Twitch Partners and Twitch Affiliates will also receive a commission for purchases that originate from their streams. Cha-ching.
Here's what Twitch said about Gear on Amazon in its announcement:
Gear on Amazon is a new tool that allows Twitch viewers to quickly and easily find the gear that their favorite streamers are using. Now, when you’re curious about which graphics card or gaming headset your favorite streamer recommends, you can check the panel area of the channel page for their gear list. If you buy any qualifying products from Amazon after clicking from your favorite streamers gear list, they’ll earn referral fees! Graphics cards are eligible; so are granola bars.
This feature and revenue sharing model follow the introduction of Twitch Games Commerce, which makes it easy to buy games from a streamer's page. Now you'll be able to buy pretty much anything you see or hear about on stream, whether it's a game or a graphics card, and you'll support the streamer in the process. That could be good news for anyone who wants to make a living sharing their lives with the world.
The exact commission rates depend on the category of product in question, and they can be found on Amazon's affiliate program policies web page. Twitch Partners and Twitch Affiliates can find out how to enable Gear on Amazon via the service's help center article. Twitch said it won't tell streamers who buys products found on their pages; they'll only be given aggregate data about how many of their viewers use the feature.