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Confirmed: Amazon Has Purchased Twitch

Previous rumors had pegged Google as Twitch's new home, but apparently that's not to be.

UPDATE: The reports were true. Amazon is buying Twitch for roughly $970 million. The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2014.

“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 Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos in a 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 CEO Emmett Shear published a statement as the news went live:

"Dear Twitch Community, It’s almost unbelievable that slightly more than 3 years ago, Twitch didn’t exist. The moment we launched, we knew we had stumbled across something special. But what followed surprised us as much as anyone else, and the impact it’s had on both the community and us has been truly profound. Your talent, your passion, your dedication to gaming, your memes, your brilliance - these have made Twitch what it is today. Every day, we strive to live up to the standard set by you, the community. We want to create the very best place to share your gaming and life online, and that mission continues to guide us. Together with you, we’ve found new ways of connecting developers and publishers with their fans. We’ve created a whole new kind of career that lets people make a living sharing their love of games. We’ve brought billions of hours of entertainment, laughter, joy and the occasional ragequit. I think we can all call that a pretty good start. Today, I’m pleased to announce we’ve been acquired by Amazon. 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. 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. I personally want to thank you, each and every member of the Twitch community, for what you’ve created. Thank you for putting your faith in us. Thank you for sticking with us through growing pains and stumbles. Thank you for bringing your very best to us and sharing it with the world. Thank you, from a group of gamers who never dreamed they’d get to help shape the face of the industry that we love so much. It’s dangerous to go alone. On behalf of myself and everyone else at Twitch, thank you for coming with us."

--

It seems inevitable that Twitch is getting sold. The first reports suggested Google would pick up the popular streaming service, but both The Wall Street Journal and The Information (both outlets require a subscription) are reporting it's actually Amazon.

(This certainly makes Venture Beat's headline about Google from weeks back seem a bit silly. Confirmed!)

According to the WSJ, negotiations between Google and Twitch "cooled" in the last few weeks. It's also possible the Amazon buyout could be announced later today, assuming everything goes as planned.

So, what say you? Is Amazon a better or worse home for Twitch?

Patrick Klepek on Google+
164 Comments
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Posted by Amikron

@jjor64 said:

At least Google+ wont ruin Twitch now. Hopefully Twitch will get some nice features now with Amazon behind them.

Yeah it is so great that Amazon will be "ruining" Twitch instead of Google. The best you can hope for is during the 30 minute mutes on VODs that they'll have a link to buy something. Hell, even that is probably asking for a bit much.

Posted by GERALTITUDE

@cmblasko said:

"It’s dangerous to go alone."

... was that a Legend of Zelda reference?

Me thinks yes!

Posted by Decaped

I wonder what part of Amazon is overseeing Twitch then, because I've heard good things about their indie studio/video game publishing division.

Posted by Hunter5024

I prefer this to Google.

Posted by charlie_victor_bravo

Color me surprised. This is way more interesting than Google rumor.

Posted by Flacracker

According to the Warrior Social Justice? Oh... Wall Street Journal.

Posted by Shindig

I'm going to get laughed off the street when I'm old and grey and telling the children of how I remember amazon being a bookstore.

Online
Edited by BigD145

@forteexe21 said:

Depends if Amazon will fix twitch lag and the archive.

Amazon will just slap a huge ad for their music download service AND mute the stream in its entirety.

I expect even slower speeds and longer lag if you don't have Amazon Prime.

Posted by Zirilius
Posted by ajamafalous

I'm more optimistic for Amazon than Google, but if they don't fix the stream delay and the archives then the site is still dead to me.

Posted by thefozz26

Twitch Prime including exclusive streaming content, £14.99 a month, say goodbye to free streams of the International, etc.... this is the future i guarantee it.

Posted by Shindig

I don't think they can hide streams behind a pay wall, even if its reasonably priced or a tiny wall like Hardian's Wall. Not unless they start providing their own premium content. Maybe they could use twitch as a way to stream TV or movies.

Online
Posted by nofzac

Finally I'll be able to watch twich on my TV thru the Prime app (hopefully). My biggest gripe was having to hook up my laptop during TI4. #firstworldproblems

Posted by gaggle64

But what does this mean for Fish Plays Pokemon?

Edited by MonJon

Welp, it's only a matter of time before you can only get the Twitch.tv app on Amazon Fire devices.

Posted by PimblyCharles

Microsoft done fucked up. It could have been their answer to royalties towards Sony for BluRay.

Posted by CaptainInvictus

@cmblasko said:

"It’s dangerous to go alone."

... was that a Legend of Zelda reference?

A video gaming stream service run by nerds makes one of the most well-known video game references of all time? It's not possible!

Edited by Evilsbane

@bradtgrace said:

I personally love it. Imagine streamers having more leniency with copyrighted content, as long as they have a link underneath the stream with a "Want to try this game? It's $19.95 on Amazon, with Prime 2-day shipping!" Or maybe even, "Like this song the streamer is listening to? Buy it now on Amazon Music, $.99!"

I know those aren't the most plausible outcomes to this rumor, it's a (albeit distant) possibility. Which is neat to consider.

That seems fucking genius and I wouldn't even be bothered by it.

Edit: I've thought about this even more it is a Win Win Win for everyone, Free advertising free sales for amazon and the product holders and freedom for the streamer, this Has to happen.

Posted by Dark_Lord_Spam

breaking the world record for Mario

wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Actually, is he talking about Dan?

Posted by RioStarwind

Ha at this point I don't even care who picks up twitch. If this buyout improves twitch in the right direction then I'll think about using it again.

Posted by Maitimo

Not too sure how I feel about this yet, but hopefully it leads to some tangible improvements.

Posted by iBushido

@bradtgrace said:

I personally love it. Imagine streamers having more leniency with copyrighted content, as long as they have a link underneath the stream with a "Want to try this game? It's $19.95 on Amazon, with Prime 2-day shipping!" Or maybe even, "Like this song the streamer is listening to? Buy it now on Amazon Music, $.99!"

I know those aren't the most plausible outcomes to this rumor, it's a (albeit distant) possibility. Which is neat to consider.

That seems fucking genius and I wouldn't even be bothered by it.

Edit: I've thought about this even more it is a Win Win Win for everyone, Free advertising free sales for amazon and the product holders and freedom for the streamer, this Has to happen.

If this is how Amazon integrates their business into Twitch, I'd be completely fine with that. Aside from the occasional pop-up for ads for the currently playing music or game, which I could imagine might be slightly annoying, that's nothing in comparison to how bad it could have become with Google. Amazon makes more money, streamers make more money, game devs, aritsts and record labels, etc. It's just good business. They probably haven't even thought of this yet so please contact them and possibly get a job as project manager. Kappa.

Posted by guanophobic

@ajamafalous said:

I'm more optimistic for Amazon than Google, but if they don't fix the stream delay and the archives then the site is still dead to me.

Why is the stream delay such a big thing for people?

Edited by VoshiNova
Posted by ajamafalous

@ajamafalous said:

I'm more optimistic for Amazon than Google, but if they don't fix the stream delay and the archives then the site is still dead to me.

Why is the stream delay such a big thing for people?

It eliminates the ability for both me as a streamer to interact with my viewers and for streamers to interact with me as a viewer. The streamers with outgoing personalities who were always interacting with the chat (Lobos, Cosmo, to a lesser extent Lethalfrag) are the ones that I enjoyed the most. It's completely disruptive when they have to wait 30-45 seconds for the viewers to catch up and react to whatever it is that happened, respond to a question the streamer asked, carry on a conversation with them, etc.

Posted by marchismo

Kind of a no-brainer when you realize that Amazon has been doing packing/shipping speedruns since forever

Edited by subyman

Amazon spends a ton of money to get things working well. Google seems to kill off projects all the time, so I'm happy to see Twitch in Amazon's hands. Very curious to see where this goes.

Posted by Tennmuerti

A goddamn billion, in three years.

Fuck me.

Posted by Rotnac

This is great news. Seeing Google buying Twitch would've probably turned into a shitfest.

Edited by churrific

Tbh, I was hoping google would buy them. I think youtube's livestreaming, which imo is actually way better than twitch's, would've gone a long way to helping fix twitch. None of the vod copyright stuff matters to me if the actual livestreaming isn't even that great in the first place.

Posted by TheSouthernDandy

Huh. That is interesting.

Posted by cmblasko

@cmblasko said:

"It’s dangerous to go alone."

... was that a Legend of Zelda reference?

A video gaming stream service run by nerds makes one of the most well-known video game references of all time? It's not possible!

Just didn't expect that kind of thing from a CEO's buyout announcement.

Posted by Mikemcn

I like amazon, they let me drunk buy really dumb things and get them the next day (For free with prime no less)

Posted by thenexus

At first some of you may think, Why Amazon?

What many of you may not realise is that they are pretty much the biggest hosting service out there and they have LOTS of infrastructure systems as well with that. This is where they make their current money. Pretty sure Giantbomb is still under Amazon infrastructure? Lots of SAAS systems and web applications are.

I actually know a guy who is one of the guys who just puts hardrives in racks all day or replaces faulty ones with new ones. He actually enjoys it, but he is one of many.

Amazon finally opened a Data Centre in Australia for example for better global performance of their services.

If your something like Twitch where your hosting videos, this can escalate and in costs, so being bought by the people you need to have such a services running better and to grow actually makes a lot of sense.

But from all the talk, and what I knew, the google deal was all but done, So the questions for me is what changed?

I am guessing all the web reactions to it, which were more negative then positive, and people pointing out what some of the changes that it would mean, not just with the copyright, but google plus sign in concerns and so on... And then Amazon may have stepped in.... I think a change occurred.

Posted by SASnake

I think GiantBomb will soon replace Kotaku as my source for breaking rumors! You won't believe what happened next!

Turns out its true

Posted by DrDarkStryfe

I don't know how I feel about a retailer purchasing a streaming site.

Posted by csl316

I use Amazon all the time and like them a lot more than Google, but boy... they're sticking their nose in everything these days.

Posted by Pirsig

I'm curious how they'll treat streamers from certain states in regards to advertising revenue/partnerships. Because of tax issues (governments want to tax online commerce because that's where most individual commerce is heading) Amazon does not allow people from certain states to be associates and participate in their ad program. All people who were already associates in a given state when Amazon decided to take the ball and go home were also immediately cut from the program resulting in sudden losses of income for several 1000s of people.

Edited by PenguinDust

Finally, a reason to buy an Amazon Fire TV set top, right? Take that Netflix!

Posted by JBG4

@bradtgrace: I like where you're coming from... This could be a really cool thing for gamers. Being able to purchase a game being streamed while watching it will be a cool integration, if that is what happens...

Posted by Wikitoups

Did anyone remember when gb and other sites was basically shut down for a few days because they were using amazon ec2 and it was getting wonky?

When it works its great but when it doesn't ho boy...

Posted by amirite

Crazy how much Amazon is BRANCHING out (oh I'm good) in recent years. first sreaming, then Kindles, now this. Who would have thought they'd be entrenching themselves so deeply in the media business?

Edited by Seeric

I think it's too early to say if Amazon will be a better or worse home for Twitch compared to Google. It's certainly a more vague one. With Google, you could probably guess the general direction it was heading in (double down on YouTube integration, shove Google+ in our faces as much as possible to soak up that personal information, and tighten up restrictions and policies a bit but not *too* much).

With Amazon, I really have no idea as to what to expect at all as it's such a surprising buyer. However, if I had to guess, I'd say that they'll ultimately focus on making it more professional than it currently is and more than Google would have. I think they will put much more enforcement in the way of policies concerning copyrighted music and the like as well as potentially putting more restrictions on what can go on during a stream. I also think they'll really focus on trying to further popularize and improve the quality of streams which are already popular and they might try making money on these streams via paywalls (ex: you can't watch them live without paying a subscription fee or you need to deal with constant mid-stream ads if you don't pay).

Posted by Robo

Many popular streamers have been using Amazon referral links to pad their income for a while now. I imagine it'll just become the standard eventually.

For as much preemptive crap as Google was getting for their suspected hand in VOD muting (turned out that was just Twitch's decision), I was kind of looking forward to better YouTube integration and maybe even a more competent Android app with Chromecast support. At least we won't have to worry about Google+ being shoehorned in.

It'll be Amazon Prime instead.

Posted by andyf

I love that Venturebeat edited their historic article about the fact. Such a shitty move. You leave the records intact and instead make a new post that you were wrong. You deal with it. You don't go and try and re-write history.

Edited by spraynardtatum

Twitch could have been something on its own. It doesn't need amazon.

*didn't.

Posted by QforQ

This is great news. Can't wait to see what they do to make Twitch better.

Edited by mlarrabee

Amazon is really extending their fringes in many directions. Phones, video subscriptions, music subscriptions, and now live-streaming. They've come a long way from being Barnes and Noble Online.

As for @patrickklepek's prod at VentureBeat: "I see two media giants pissing in the wind. No. No. No." :)

Posted by gamefreak9

Man... I don't like this Oligopology crap. It seems like the future will just consist of 10-12 firms that do everything. Can't you guys just specialize? This kind of integration might be good for profits of individual firms, but its not good for overall mark ups the consumer pays, costs of less competitive environment.

Posted by cthomer5000

Twitch could have been something on its own. It doesn't need amazon.

*didn't.

It was. It's owners just sold it for $970 million. Smart play to cash out at this point, probably stay with Amazon for a couple of years, then move on to do whatever you want if you feel like. Can't fault anyone in that position. It's a dream come true.

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