It’s Official, Amazon Buys Twitch for Nearly $1B

/ Aug 25, 2014

Amazon

A few hours after news first broke of Amazon’s acquisition talks with gameplay video service Twitch, the company has confirmed the deal.

“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 — from The International, to breaking the world record for Mario, to gaming conferences like E3. And, amazingly, Twitch is only three years old,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com, in a statement. “Like Twitch, we obsess over customers and like to think differently, and we look forward to learning from them and helping them move even faster to build new services for the gaming community.”

Amazon will pay $970 million in cash — a deal that’s in the vicinity of the $1 billion Google was rumored to be offering for the video service before talks cooled down.

Started by Justin.tv co-founders Justin Kan and Emmett Shear in 2011, Twitch has grown into a live and on-demand video platform with 55 million unique viewers per month. In the announcement, Amazon said Twitch also generated 15 billion minutes in watch-time, of content produced by more than 1 million “broadcasters,” in July.

We’ll have more on what this means for the future of Twitch, and maybe more importantly, the future of Amazon within the online video market. Will Amazon use Twitch to expand into other genres of content? For now, it appears the goal is for Twitch to continue on its core gaming community. “Amazon and Twitch optimize for our customers first and are both believers in the future of gaming,” said Shear in a statement. “Being part of Amazon will let us do even more for our community. We will be able to create tools and services faster than we could have independently. This change will mean great things for our community, and will let us bring Twitch to even more people around the world.”

The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2014. Our original story on Amazon’s pursuit of Twitch is copied below:

Google’s acquisition of Twitch was not a done deal — as previously thought. According to multiple media reports, Amazon will buy Twitch, the live-streaming and on-demand video platform catering exclusively to gamers.

News of the talks were first reported by The Information, which cited two sources close to the situation, and said Amazon was in “late-stage talks” to buy Twitch. It now appears to be a done deal, with Amazon agreeing to pay more than $1 billion for the streaming service.

This news comes a month after VentureBeat reported that Google had signed its deal to buy Twitch, which was rumored to be for $1 billion.

Per The Wall Street Journal, talks between Google and Twitch “cooled” in recent weeks, which allowed Amazon to swoop in and buy the startup.

To date, Twitch had raised $35 million in funding. The service currently reaches 50 million unique viewers per month across platforms.

The acquisition is just the latest move by Amazon to eat into Google’s share of the digital media and advertising market. A few months ago, the company introduced a short-form video section as part of its Amazon Instant Video library. And recently, reports indicated that Amazon is planning to target Google’s AdSense with a new online advertising program.

So Netflix might not be the only video giant that Amazon is taking on.

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  • Wow. Amazon has suddenly moved to No. 2 in UGC. Smart move by them. I think they’ll give YouTube a run for their money. Between these parties they already use up something like 1/3 of all U.S. bandwidth (Amazon servers host Netflix).

    • Jack Off

      Instead of posting comments on these blogs, why don’t you spend the time responding to customer inquiries.

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