Amazon announced Monday it bought video streaming site Twitch for $970 million in cash.
Twitch is a live video streaming site with more than 55 million monthly users. As of July, it had over 15 billion minutes of content, and users on average are spending more than 100 minutes a day on the site. It's basically the YouTube for video game streaming. People go to Twitch to watch gamers broadcast their playing sessions live.
It's also a resource for gamers who like to show off their skills. There's an entire community on Twitch dedicated to doing weird stuff like beating Zelda games in under 20 minutes or playing massively collaborative games of Pokemon.
Twitch is also a huge part of the internet, and it accounts for nearly 2% of all traffic in the U.S. during peak hours, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. Only Netflix, Google, and Apple account for more traffic. In that respect, Twitch streams more video than Hulu.
Earlier Monday, multiple reports indicated Amazon was in late-stage talks to acquire Twitch. The news came as a big surprise because just last month it was reported that Google had agreed to acquire Twitch for about $1 billion. That deal, however, was never officially confirmed.
It's unclear what had caused the Google-Twitch deal to fall through, but one possible reason is over antitrust issues.
Since Google already owns YouTube, the world's largest video streaming site, acquiring another massive video streaming site like Twitch could raise antitrust issues. According to Forbes, the two sides couldn't agree on the potential break up fee.
More to come...
Here's the official announcement from Amazon:
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire Twitch Interactive, Inc., the leading live video platform for gamers. In July, more than 55 million unique visitors viewed more than 15 billion minutes of content on Twitch produced by more than 1 million broadcasters, including individual gamers, pro players, publishers, developers, media outlets, conventions and stadium-filling esports organizations.
“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 Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com. “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.”
“Amazon and Twitch optimize for our customers first and are both believers in the future of gaming,” said Twitch CEO Emmett Shear. “Being part of Amazon will let us do even more for our community. We will be able to create tools and services faster than we could have independently. This change will mean great things for our community, and will let us bring Twitch to even more people around the world.”
Twitch launched in June 2011 to focus exclusively on live video for gamers. Under the terms of the agreement, which has been approved by Twitch’s shareholders, Amazon will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Twitch for approximately $970 million in cash, as adjusted for the assumption of options and other items. Subject to customary closing conditions, the acquisition is expected to close in the second half of 2014.