Amazon snaps up Twitch for $970m
Amazon has bought video-game footage streaming service Twitch for $1 billion, putting an end to months of speculation surrounding the startup.
The acquisition, which was confirmed by Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos last night, is the culmination of a behind-the-scenes bidding war for the platform.
It was widely thought that Google-owned YouTube was ready to buy Twitch in late May, when [a hre=”http://variety.com/2014/digital/news/youtube-to-acquire-videogame-streaming-service-twitch-for-1-billion-sources-1201185204″ title=”Variety” follow=”no”]Variety[/a] and others claimed the company had offered over $1 billion in cash for the platform.
But in the end, $970 million (£584 million) was enough to persuade the the Twitch team to join Amazon instead.
Twitch provides a platform for gamers to broadcast livestream video of themselves playing, and also hosts on-demand footage from large “esports” events such as Valve’s “The International”.
Founded in 2011 as a spin-off from Justin.tv, Twitch has grown to have 55 million monthly active users.
In a statement, Jeff Bezos said: “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… we look forward to learning from them and helping them move even faster to build new services for the gaming community.”
In a blog post, Emmet Shear, CEO of Twitch, said the company would be keeping almost everything the same, including its office, employees, branding and, “most importantly” its independence.
“With Amazon’s support we’ll have the resources to bring you an even better Twitch,” he added.