Amazon to acquire video game streaming site Twitch for US$970 million

Google reportedly had been in talks to acquire the gaming site for some time

A Twitch live stream of a session of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
A Twitch live stream of a session of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

Amazon will pay US$970 million to acquire Twitch, a site for live video broadcasts of people's video gaming sessions.

Amazon said in a statement it would pay $970 million in cash to acquire all outstanding shares of Twitch, in a deal that CEO Jeff Bezos said would let Twitch build new services for the gaming community. The price will be adjusted for the assumption of options and other items, Amazon said.

"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," Bezos said in Amazon's announcement.

The acquisition is expected to close by the end of the year.

It gives Amazon a big platform for streaming video. Twitch, which was founded in 2011, ranked fourth in U.S. peak Internet traffic in February with a 1.8 percent share, according to data from DeepField. Twitch says its site last month attracted more than 55 million visitors who watched more than 15 billion minutes of content produced by more than 1 million people.

Twitch generates revenue both by placing ads within its videos and through a subscription program for watching videos. The site lets people upload their video game sessions from their PCs and from consoles such as the Xbox and PlayStation 4.

Beyond hosting video of games themselves, Twitch has also served as a digital venue for events such as the gaming competition The International and the gaming conference E3.

The acquisition marked a surprising development for Twitch, which reportedly had been in talks with Google to be acquired for some time. But those talks cooled in recent weeks, according to earlier reports.

"This is a big deal," said Lewis Ward, an industry analyst at IDC who studies gaming and consumer technology. "It will reverberate for years to come in the gaming community," he said.

Acquiring Twitch gives Amazon deep access to a massive base of loyal gamers and streaming-video users, who could become lucrative targets for advertising. Swooping in and acquiring Twitch may have been the e-retailer's way of keeping the potential rewards out of Google's hands, Ward said.

Amazon also may be looking to integrate Twitch content into its growing lineup of hardware devices, such as its new Fire phone and Kindle tablets. It could become a way for Amazon to draw gamers into other Amazon services as more gamers gravitate toward mobile devices and away from consoles, Ward said.

Also, with Amazon Web Services for cloud computing, Amazon seems poised to provide a robust infrastructure for Twitch to continue its growth.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

3 skills you need to drive better collaboration

A study published in The Harvard Business Review found the time spent in collaborative activities at work has increased by over 50 per cent in the past two decades. Larger projects; complicated problems; tighter timeframes: These require bigger teams with specialised skillsets and diverse backgrounds, often dispersed globally.

Jen Jackson

CEO, Everyday Massive

Better the bank you know?

In 2018, only 21 per cent of customers believed that banks in general had their customers best interests at heart and behave ethically. Only 26 per cent believed that banks will keep their promises; views cemented further following the Hayne Financial Services Royal Commission.

Carolyn Pitt

Head of account management, Hulsbosch

What 15 years of emotional intelligence told us about youth media audiences

Taking people on an emotional journey through content is the most critical part of being a publisher. Which is why emotion lies at the heart of VICE Media.

Stephanie Winkler

Head of insights, VICE Asia-Pacific

This journey would identify all your future life aspects!

Maryann Humphrey

Open Colleges: one-to-one journeys is the goal

Read more

It's a pretty good idea. I think this integration is useful. Don't you agree?

Misty Stoll

Officeworks hops on voice interface bandwagon with Google Assistant integration

Read more

ok. so no RCS support? by the way, RCS is a lot bigger than 5G in terms of marketing and monetisation so y'all should be covering it.

DragoCubed

Optus goes for education with 5G network campaign

Read more

Many companies and individual merchants have shifted their major part of marketing to web marketing services Portland as it weighs fewer ...

Radiata Solutions

6 Ways to ramp up Social Media to Your Web Design

Read more

This is a unique experience! Will be interesting to talk to their managers.

Joyce Harris

​How Krispy Kreme revitalised its brand in a saturated market

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in