In a deal that may come as a surprise to many, Amazon appears to be the winner in the game of who will acquire Twitch. Though Google’s Youtube was previously thought to be the lead contender, Amazon has just purchased the video-game streaming giant for a hefty $970 million. Twitch, which bears a striking resemblance to Youtube, has become the go to source for streaming video-game play. Viewers can watch live and recorded video-game play from anywhere around the world. And most importantly, the site attracts 55 million unique visits every month.
Amazon’s move seems to come from its determination to compete with and attempt to dominate the online streaming market. Former MTV CEO Judy McGrath recently joined Amazon’s board, and some speculate the move was made with the notion that McGrath will bolster the company’s online streaming potential. Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO, explained, as reported by BBC News,
“Broadcasting and watching gameplay is a global phenomenon and Twitch has built a platform that brings together tens of millions of people who watch billions of minutes of games each month…We look forward to learning from them and helping them move even faster to build new services for the gaming community.”
Twitch has already become embedded in mainstream game play. Both the Playstation 4 and Xbox One have incorporated the streaming guru into their platforms. Amazon currently offers Amazon Prime which gives members access to a variety of movies and TV shows, and it is a safe bet that members will soon have access to Twitch as well. But have no fear, Twitch executives have promised their audience that the sites quality will not diminish. Twitch CEO Emmett Shear elaborated in a letter posted to the website,
“We’re keeping most everything the same: our office, our employees, our brand, and most importantly our independence. But with Amazon’s support we’ll have the resources to bring you an even better Twitch.”
Previously Twitch has raised approximately $35 million from investment firms including Thrive Firms. But the fact that the company sold for nearly a billion dollars has many gawking at the value. It is the same hesitance that Facebook was greeted with when it acquired Instagram in 2012. Whether the site is worth the number is yet to be seen. It will be interesting to see what Amazon is able to make out of it.
Featured image via facebook/Twitch
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