The rumors are true: Amazon has announced it’s going to buy game streaming service Twitch for just shy of a billion dollars.
Amazon issued a press release today announcing the sale, which it said has been approved by shareholders. The plan is for Amazon to acquire “all outstanding Twitch stock” for a price of $970 million in cash, and the deal should complete sometime later this year.
“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,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com, according to Amazon’s press release. “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.”
Twitch is a huge get for Amazon, especially since rumor had it Google was looking to acquire the streaming service to add to its video offerings in YouTube. In February, The Wall Street Journal reported that Twitch ranked fourth in the percentage of peak Internet traffic sites draw, at with 1.8 percent of traffic. It was behind Netflix, with 32 percent; Google, with 22 percent; and Apple, with 4.3 percent.
What exactly the future holds for Twitch is anyone’s guess under the deal, however. Twitch has lately been working harder to enforce copyrights on music on videos on the service, for example, and the Amazon press release says little about how the deal might affect users; the same is true of a blog post written by Twitch CEO Emmett Shear.
Shear ran a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” post earlier this month about the Twitch changes, dealing specifically with audio recognition changes to the service. At the time, Shear said Twitch had “no intentions” of bringing that software to Twitch’s livestreams — currently, it’s only used on recorded video, and mutes 30 minutes of video when copyrighted music is heard.
GameFront has reached out to Twitch for comment about how the acquisition might affect players using the service for streaming.
by Phil Hornshaw