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Report: Amazon reached $1 billion deal to buy video game streaming service Twitch

Amazon just expanded its audience, and ability to raise advertising revenue


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Sarah Gray
August 26, 2014 12:15AM (UTC)

Amazon has reportedly reached a deal to purchase Twitch, a video game streaming service, for nearly $1 billion. This acquisition, originally reported by business blog the Information, would bring large amounts of bandwidth and millions of viewers to Amazon. This report also effectively quashes rumors that Google would purchase Twitch.

Twitch is a video game streaming service that boasts around 55 million active users, according to Mashable. It was founded in 2011 as an offshoot of the now defunct Justin.tv. In July alone, around 1 million people videoed themselves gaming, Re/code explained, and the site had 50 million unique viewers watching and commenting.

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Twitch's type of streaming differs from the current content -- TV, movies and original series -- Amazon currently streams. Founder Emmett Shear explained Twitch to BuzzFeed in a recent feature:

“In the end, we’re a website where people can come and watch video and chat and talk about the video. In many ways our business is more similar to Vimeo or Youtube than it is to Activision-Blizzard’s. We’re more a social network and media company that happens to be focused on exclusively video gaming content.”

Amazon is not just reaching tech tentacles into the gaming world, but also the video streaming realm, social media -- and the advertising dollars that come in tandem with this type of platform. As Re/code states, Amazon is "arming itself with a type of video — and millions of the kind of viewers advertisers lust for — that could give it a unique edge over Netflix and maybe YouTube, according to a source familiar with the deal."

It is unclear yet if the tech behemoth will allow Twitch to operate independently, of if Twitch will be folded into Amazon, and moulded in its image.


Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on innovation. Follow @sarahhhgray or email sgray@salon.com.

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