By Andrew Dodson on August 25, 2014 at 6:05pm
A month ago, it was reported that Google was set to purchase the popular video game streaming website Twitch for a billion dollars. However, it appears that those reports were a bit premature.
Today, Twitch was purchased by Amazon for $970 million dollars. In a letter to the community, Twitch CEO Emmett Shear said this:
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. Emmett Shear
It may seem odd that Twitch would go with Amazon rather than Google, which already owns YouTube, which in turn hosts countless archives of Twitch streaming footage. It clearly wasn't the money, as Google was offering more than Amazon.
The first theory is licensing. In recent months, Twitch users have had a lot of issues of copyrighted music blocked out on their streams in their archives. Amazon has the deep pockets and established relationships with big record labels that may become much less of an issue.
Another reason might simply be the popularity of a lot of Amazon programs and devices. With almost every home having an Amazon Kindle Fire or access to Amazon Instant Video, it would be a snap to implement a way to stream live video games straight into people handheld devices or TV consoles that couldn't run Twitch before (PS3 systems, for instance, lack a Twitch app but have access to Amazon Instant Video).
The biggest reason might just be the opportunity to build something up from nothing. Amazon has no real video-sharing section that features 100 percent user-created videos. While Twitch could start on Amazon as just a video game streaming service, in time, it could expand to feature concerts, sporting events, and other bigger things of that nature. With Google, Twitch would always be living in the shadow of YouTube.
Twitch has grown a lot since it first appeared on the internet in June 2011. Now owned by Amazon, it will be interesting to see where it goes from here.
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.
Emmett Shear, Twitch.tv CEO
CEO Letter to the Community Amazon Press Release