Amazon's Next Purchase: Game Streaming

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Amazon announces its next (quasi) billion-dollar acquisition-- video game live streaming service Twitch. The price? $970 million in cash.

Twitch Amazon As it stands Twitch is all of 3 years old. It spun off from live-streaming site Justin.tv, a service shuttered down earlier this month. It allows gamers to share play to live audiences, and while that might not sound like much on July 2014 alone it boasted over 55 million visitors, with over 1 million broadcasters streaming over 15 billion minutes of content. And such numbers are surely valuable to Amazon in its quest to push content on its mobile devices.

Currently Twitch users can broadcast gameplay sessions on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

"Broadcasting and watching gameplay is a global phenomenon," Amazon boss Jeff Bezos says. "Twitch has built a platform that brings together tens of millions of people who watch billions of minutes of games each month-- from The International, to breaking the world record for Mario, to gaming conferences like E3."

Twitch CEO Emmett Shear adds "[w]e chose Amazon because they believe in our community, they share our values and long-term vision, and they want to help us get there faster. We’re keeping most everything the same: our office, our employees, our brand, and most importantly our independence."

Rumours suggest Amazon was not the only entity interested in acquiring the platform-- Google was reportedly one of the bidders. In fact back in July VentureBeat went as far as to "confirm" Google as the buyer. Why would Twitch choose Amazon over Google? One cannot confirm, of course, but perhaps Twitch's owners didn't want their service to end up becoming YouTube's little brother…

That, or as Forbes suggests Google "was concerned about potential antitrust issues that could have come with the acquisition."

So what next for Twitch, post-Amazon? In the least it will surely make an appearance on the Fire TV STB, which (non) coincidentally feature an optional gamepad accessory. That, and competitive gaming will be pushed even further as the spectator sport of the future, one already worth millions in price pools and, of course, advertising.

Go Amazon to Acquire Twitch

Go Twitch Letter from the CEO