Amazon to buy Twitch.tv for $970 million

Its been a few months since we last heard rumors about Google-owned YouTube purchasing leading gaming video platform Twitch.tv. And now, It looks like the rumors have resurfaced this week, but with a new purchaser at the helm.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon will be purchasing the streaming website for over  a billion dollars. Although there has been no official word, the deal could be announced as soon as Monday. Twitch.tv emerged as a spin-off from streaming platform Justin.tv and has garnered quite a bit of attention from the tech community and investors. The site has slowly gained a following as it has been used by gamers to stream their events and playthroughs.

Although the deal was initially supposed to be solidified months ago with YouTube, it looks like the discussions came to a halt over the past couple of weeks, allowing Amazon to step in for the rumored purchase. Amazon has been on a roll lately, releasing a new  phone, streaming box, and beefing up its streaming video library

If the source is correct, it'll be interesting to see if Amazon will implement this new acquisition into its current media service or if they will change anything in regards to the existing Twitch.tv service.

[Update] Amazon has confirmed the purchase and said that they will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Twitch for approximately $970 million in cash.

Source: Wall Street JournalImage via Twitch.tv

Editors Note: The title of this post was updated after the confirmation of the purchase.

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42 Comments

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Never once viewed this website but I guess this is the times will currently live in where people will actually sit back and watch other people play video games for entertainment.

I don't care for watching people play modern games but I've seen people doing old school NES/SNES/N64 games and that's kinda fun/nostalgic. Also this post needs more slashes/ there we go. :p

Not good. Amazon is getting too big. I fear they will change it and I won't like the changes. Not that Google needed it either.

Almost but not quite. 1 billion = 1,000,000,000. This is 970,000,000. 30,000,000 short of the billion.

Type comment here...

Enron said,
Almost but not quite. 1 billion = 1,000,000,000. This is 970,000,000. 30,000,000 short of the billion.

Thanks, I was having trouble with the math.

I'm glad the deal with Google, if there really was one, didn't go through. Amazon might actually help Twitch grow - Google would just f**k it all up, just like YouTube.

Gornot said,
I'm glad the deal with Google, if there really was one, didn't go through. Amazon might actually help Twitch grow - Google would just f**k it all up, just like YouTube.
Are you being sarcastic? My sarcastic meter was broken... Youtube was nothing before Google purchased it. Google made it bigger.

Yes, Google made them what they are today. However, more recently Google has also, in many ways, ruined the very YouTube they built up to be so popular. Just the fiasco with the comment system alone should be good enough reason to be glad Amazon is doing the gobbling-up this time.

Bigger is not always better. At least that is what my girlfriend tells me. :)

Umm, youtube is still a site that has lists of videos, video in the middle of the page, comments under the video.. Sounds like the original youtube to me...

Was kind of hoping Microsoft would jump in to buy it, oh well. Looking forward to see what Amazon does with it.

I bet they come up with some kind of re-branded version of Twitch meant for corporate communication and sell it alongside their AWS products.

amnesiality said,
C'mon, Microsoft, double the amount of money and buy Twitch.
If Microsoft buy Twitch TV, that service will be screwed.

MS could screw it up, or it could become much better with Azure. Amazon faces the same risk as well, but Google would have screwed it up without a doubt.

BallmerGates said,
I don't know if Microsoft would screw it up, but they'd probably rebrand as Windows Live Entertainment Streaming Service 2014.
Ever heard about Silverlight? How did that goes against Flash? What happen to their video site trying to compete with YouTube? Pause their video and try to investigate the paused scene. What do you see?

I don't want to live on this planet anymore. The fact that a network where kids sit like zombies and watch other kids / people play video games is crazy. Then to think this service is worth $1 Billion.

My Nephew does it to, he will sit like a Zombie in front of the computer and just watch Mindcraft videos.

warwagon said,
My Nephew does it to, he will sit like a Zombie in front of the computer and just watch Mindcraft videos.

Heh occasionally catch my daughter watching Minecraft vids too.. maybe this is the zombie apocalypse.. just not what people were expecting?

You do realize that people don't watch the playing so much as the entertainment of the presenter, right? You're akin to saying people watching comedians is sad because you can tell jokes yourself.

Boohoo, people have been doing it for decades, watching others play games. Just because you watch sports doesn't mean you're getting anymore off your ass than watching someone play video games...

warwagon said,
I don't want to live on this planet anymore. The fact that a network where kids sit like zombies and watch other kids / people play video games is crazy. Then to think this service is worth $1 Billion.

My Nephew does it to, he will sit like a Zombie in front of the computer and just watch Mindcraft videos.

You've obviously never been in a position where, for whatever reason, you just can't play a certain game (whether your PC is too slow, you don't own a console or just can't afford it). Watching others go through it, see what they're doing, and maybe thinking to yourself how you could've done it if you played it... it's all part of watching gaming streams.

There are whole networks devoted to talking about games and watching people play games. In fact I know people that will sit on their butts all Sunday watching people play games.

Wait, your talking about video games /s Oh my bad I thought you were talking about the NFL, NBA, NHL, MSL, Golf, tennis or the plethora of other activities. People have for decades sat on their tooshies watching video (live or recorded) other people participate in an activity. There are whole networks that people watch to see other people analyze the very games and players they just watched (e.g. ESPN, FoxSports)

Edited by pjosephson, Aug 25 2014, 11:17pm :

First Google, now Amazon. I will wait until a press release to really comment as right now, Twitch, Google, or Amazon are not talking about it much.

Oh this is a much better circumstance than Google buying out the service. I would not enjoy a world where all internet videos were run through a Google service. That's bad for the end user simply because it's near-monopolizing and YouTube already has buffering issues as-is. Love me some Twitch.tv though. Amazon has a cloud service that is very competent, proofed by the fact that they share responsibility with Microsoft over hosting Apple's iCloud offering.

SchroederRock said,
near-monopolizing and YouTube already has buffering issues as-is. Love me some Twitch.tv though.

Try HTML 5 video

http://youtube.com/html5

Great news.

I'm sure Amazon will be able to place adverts for direct buying of games that you're watching being streamed, very targeted adverts that'd actually be useful.

That's much better news than Google buying them! Maybe Amazon can figure out a way to get streaming music to work on Twitch in a way that pleases everyone.

Agreed; I like using some of Google's services, but I feel Amazon could be a much better fit, as they actually are still in the "underdog" mindset of changing things up.