Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 27 January 2015

Amazon snaps up gaming website Twitch

Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos described broadcasting and watching gameplay as a global phenomenon
Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos described broadcasting and watching gameplay as a global phenomenon

Amazon has splashed out nearly a billion dollars to buy game streaming website Twitch just three years after it was founded.

The internet giant spent $970m (£585m) to snap up the San Francisco-based firm.

It stepped in after Google had previously been in talks to buy the website but no deal materialised.

Twitch has grown rapidly amid the increasing popularity of video gaming as an online spectator sport.

Its network had 55m unique users in July, up from 20m in 2012, with most visiting its website to watch other people play live or view recorded games.

The streams are interspersed with advertising. It is a lucrative market, with the value of digital video commercials expected to reach $5.96bn (£3.6bn) this year.

Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos said: "Broadcasting and watching gameplay is a global phenomenon and Twitch has built a platform that brings together millions of people who watch billions of minutes of games each month."

Twitch chief executive Emmett Shear said in a letter to users: "It's almost unbelievable that slightly more than three years ago, Twitch didn't exist. The moment we launched, we knew we had stumbled across something special.

"I'm pleased to announce we've been acquired by Amazon. We chose Amazon as they believe in our community, 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."

Twitch was originally a spin-off from, a quirky venture focusing on a video feed that tracked the daily activities of co-founder Justin Kan.

Since 2011, its focus on live video for game fans has turned it into a rapidly-growing phenomenon. Last month, users viewed more than 15 billion minutes of content produced by more than one million broadcasters.

These range from individual game players to video game publishers and developers.

It does not release revenue figures but last September it received a $20m (£12m) injection from investors, including venture capital firms.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Nightlife Galleries


Latest Food and Drink News

Latest Motoring News