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August 26, 2014

Amazon Gets its Game Face On With Acquisition of Twitch

eCommerce giant Amazon is adding Internet video broadcast channel Twitch to the fold in a cool $970-million cash-deal.

Although the actual purchase price comes in under the $1 billion-mark, sources told Reuters “some retention agreements” will push the deal past that amount.

The move comes as no surprise — CEO Jeff Bezos is doing his darnedest to make Amazon a one-stop shop for all things entertainment. The purchase puts Amazon in direct competition with the mobile gaming big boys — Apple and Google — as the eRetailer looks to take a substantial slice from the massive mobile gaming app market. Currently, online games make up more than 75 percent of all mobile app sales.

But the purchase could also mean more competition for Netflix.

Although Twitch is geared toward gamers, the video platform offers commentary, and online shows as well as gaming footage.

“Broadcasting and watching gameplay is a global phenomenon,” Bezos said in a statement. “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 has more than 1.1 million unique broadcasters per month and its videos reach more than 55 million gamers.

Twitch CEO Emmett Shear said the acquisition will not impact its location or staffing.

“We 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,” Shear wrote in a blog post. “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.”

It was reported earlier this year that Twitch was also in talks with Google, but a deal never materialized.


Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.