Amazon announced Monday that the company negotiated a deal to purchase Twitch.tv for the small sum of $970 million. Google (YouTube) had been in negotiations since May to acquire Twitch, but were unable to close the deal. This gives Amazon the most popular avenue for game streaming. Although Google owns YouTube, Twitch reaches a very different market, and this can't be seen by Google as anything other than a slap in the face. It will be interesting to see if Google rises to the challenge and duels it out with Amazon – hopefully bringing their YouTube streaming service to a more complete status (corporate blood sport, how wonderful).
By acquiring Twitch, it would appear that Amazon is making an even bigger push into the gaming market. Amazon already sells computer components, consoles, and games, but didn't really offer much after the initial point of sale. It's a safe bet that Amazon Prime membership should get some form of benefit from this purchase. Currently, Prime offers members deals on shipping, music purchases, and movie streaming, so it makes sense to expect this purchase to follow suit.
The purchase secures Amazon's 3rd slot for top-online video streaming companies (behind Netflix and Google).
Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com, expressed his thoughts on why this was a good deal in their press release:
“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. 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.”
This huge infusion of cash should give Twitch the money needed to push further and create an even more dominant product than what is already in place. Twitch CEO Emmett Shear stated:
“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.”
Now if only Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos' company trying to privatize space flight, can succeed, we should all be able to enjoy watching some streaming space sim videos while floating peacefully in zero G. That is the essence of living the dream right? Well, short of floating in a tube and playing games with your brain.
Let us know if you think this is a positive move or if Amazon bit off more than they can chew. Or if you think they plan to run it into the ground.
- Scott "Abibiliboop" Griffin.