Amazon Bets on Content in Deal for Twitch

from NYTimes

On Wednesday night, I spent time on Twitch.tv watching people watch people play StarCraft II, Call of Duty and League of Legends.

When you cover media, you get used to meta activities, but staring at my computer watching an audience watch others play streaming video games was a new level of remove. There were funny, eccentric grown-ups, but also a lot of teenage boys talking profane smack on headsets, often with corrosive rap spinning in the background, as they maneuvered through seemingly impenetrable game environments.

After surfing around for 90 minutes, I couldn’t help asking, is this really a thing?

Actually, Amazon believes it’s a $1.1 billion thing. Last Monday, the company announced it would buy Twitch, which surprised most industry observers because they thought Google had wrapped up a purchase. It surprised me because I had no idea what Twitch was.

More here.

3 Responses to Amazon Bets on Content in Deal for Twitch

  1. BD October 16, 2016 at 4:00 pm #

    Another Amazon acquisition really comes with no surprise. In Amazon’s recent history, the company has blatantly expressed its interest in growth into various industries in order to gain market share. For example, shortly after the tech industry started moving towards tablets as an alternative to smartphone use, Amazon introduced its own Amazon Kindle and Kindle Fire in 2007. Amazon also recently introduced its own music platform, Amazon Music Unlimited in order to compete with music giants iTunes and Spotify. The introduction of a music platform for Amazon makes sense for the “biggest online retailer of hard goods” according to Carr, because it once again allows for entry into another industry. Not only does Amazon supply the device to the consumer, such as the Kindle, it now also supplies the content, through the use of Amazon Unlimited Music.

    In more recent history, we see Amazon expanding through the introduction of services provided by itself in order to make Amazon’s use more efficient. One example is the introduction of Amazon Prime, which aims to innovate the logistics of final delivery of its products to consumers by providing next-day, same-day and in some circumstances one-hour delivery. In addition to the previously unimaginably fast delivery options to consumers, Amazon Prime wants to further guarantee delivery promptness and in doing so leased its first Boeing 767 to supplement existing delivery partnerships with delivery companies such USPS, UPS and FedEx.

    The expansion of Amazon into industries with extreme barriers to entry is one of reasons why the purchase of Twitch.TV does not surprise me. Although personally being someone who has never used the Twitch platform, to me it makes perfect economic sense for Amazon to purchase a company that has seen tremendous growth in recent years. Twitch, in addition to having a strong customer base to begin with, allows Amazon to gain market share yet into another segment of potential customers, that being gaming. Stated very clear in Carr’s article, “Amazon has made its media ambitions clear — part of its future lies in occupying screens of all sorts.” The acquisition of Twitch.TV aligns well with the company’s future ambitions and I am looking forward to seeing what the future holds for Amazon and its subsidiaries.

  2. Kyle R. February 22, 2019 at 8:28 pm #

    The gaming industry is growing at a fast pace and can be seen with the purchase of twitch.tv from Amazon. Esports is rising more and more every day and people want a way to watch it. You do not have to be a genesis to see this since two of the world’s biggest companies (Google and Amazon) were interested in this site. Now more than ever gaming is a hot commodity with games like Fortnite, Call of Duty and Minecraft. It states in the article that “But even as video games threaten to become bigger than Hollywood in terms of gross revenue” I myself love video games and have played them for as long as I can remember. However most recently I have started watching competitive video games tournaments and competitions.
    Many people cannot wrap their head around the concept of people watching others playing video games. In the article, it even says “After surfing around for 90 minutes, I couldn’t help asking, is this really a thing?”. Most people ask why would you want to watch others play a video game when you yourself can play that same game? I think the answer to this, is that it is the same as any major sport that people watch on tv. Its entertainment, people want to watch the best of the best play video games at a high pace and action filled event. While many people play sports, most cannot compete in the NFL or MLB or NBA but still watch it. This is the same in the video game industry and is why twitch is so popular now. So many people know now the name of streamers and professional video game player like they know their favorite quarterback or pitcher.
    I think that Twitch will continue to grow as technology grows. The gaming industry is always changing and people want to see the newest of the new. While people may not understand it, the numbers do not lie. Millions of people are watching every day. In the article it says “Twitch’s peak viewership now rivals the average prime-time viewership of some cable networks”. Twitch is here to stay and I believe will continue to grow in the future. Overall Amazon has made a very smart business decision to purchase twitch when it did.

  3. Anthony Freda December 5, 2019 at 5:44 pm #

    Reading this article almost 5 years later is very interesting and shows a lot of what people were thinking during that time. This purchase by Amazon proves how innovative and into the future companies are. Twitch has become part of the growing gaming community. Streaming on Twitch has become its own career and we see professional gamers such as Tyler (Ninja) Blevins, and Turner (tfue) Tenney rack up millions of dollars every year simply by using Twitch. Twitch has become the go to streaming sight for any video game lover. Twitch took off upon the release of Epic Games Fortnite. Fortnite single handedly jumpstarted Twitch and during some events such as the Fortnite World Cup, racked in higher viewership ratings than some professional sports games. An astonishing peak of 1.5 million viewers, Twitch is the gold standard for video game streaming. The big question is, how did Amazon know to purchase and launch Twitch 5 years before it took off onto a worldwide stage. By doing some research, I discovered that Google was supposed to purchase Twitch but had some concerns with AntiTrust laws. At the time, only Twitch and Youtube live streamed video games, this scared Google off and allowed Amazon to swoop in for the kill. Amazon was able to detect very early how successful the field of video games will be in the future, and it is paying off for them. Twitch currently has 1.5 million broadcasters and over 100 million viewers every month. Twitch will look to continue to expand into the future as the world of ESports continues to grow.

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