Game On: Amazon’s Twitch

Aug 28 2014, 02:50 IST
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SummaryAmazon’s Twitch buy is all about gaming as a business and ad potential

With Amazon’s $970 million (plus $100 million tied to business objectives) purchase of Twitch, a video-game streaming website, it is logical to ask what is in store for Amazon with Twitch? For an answer, let us start with what Twitch actually is. It is a live-streaming platform that allows users to watch and broadcast video-games. Given how, in July, Twitch had

55 million unique visitors—that’s more than Facebook had that month—and produced over 15 billion minutes of content from

1 million broadcasters, as per Vox, it is amply clear that gaming is already a big business. Amazon, over the years, has developed an impressive profile in the world of digital gaming—in 2012, it

created an in-house gaming studio and earlier this year, it acquired Double Helix Games, the developer of games such as Killer

Instinct and Strider. Besides, Amazon also happens to be the second-largest digital vendor of games. Thus, something like Twitch would only build into the gaming business compartment that Amazon seeks to have. The acquisition will help the company integrate better into the gaming universe.

Given Google, too, was interested in acquiring Twitch, offering a flat $1 billion before reportedly backing out due to anti-trust concerns—it already owns the largest general video-streaming platform, YouTube, and the gaming networks on it—it is not difficult to appreciate that Amazon would have wanted to pre-empt other possible buyers. At the same time, Twitch’s user engagement figures, it is possible that harvesting the platform’s potential ad outreach was also high up in Amazon’s list of reasons for buying it up.

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