What Does One Billion Dollars Get You? Twitch.TV For One Thing

Twitch logo over channel screenshots

Photo Credit: David Paul Morris/Getty Images

Today, Emmett Shear, CEO of Twitch, confirmed that Twitch had been acquired by Amazon to the tune of 970 million dollars. Now, many of you might be thinking the same thing that I was. Didn’t Amazon just suffer a heavy loss this past quarter? Yes, indeed they did, but here’s why even in the face of such large figures, their decision might actually make sense.

1. In July alone, Twitch had 55 million unique visitors and 15 billion minutes of content produced by over 1 million broadcasters, putting it above such internet giants as Hulu and Facebook for bandwidth usage. At peak hours it even rivaled some cable networks, averaging 567 thousand viewers at a single time. The numbers are staggering given how “niche” of a market video game streaming is. But that’s just it. E-Sports are becoming more and more mainstream.

2. As a prominent video game vendor itself, second only to Steam, it makes sense that Amazon would want further integration into the culture of one of its largest demographics.

3. But why would Twitch take 970 million instead of the billion that Google offered back in May? If Twitch had been acquired by Google it would never get the chance to surpass YouTube. In addition to that, Emmett Shear said that, “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.” They will be able to operate independently still,  and really, who wouldn’t want to make their mark by overtaking YouTube? According to an article posted on Forbes, even had Google wanted to purchase Twitch it would have been unable to due to antitrust laws and the monopoly that ownership of both Twitch and YouTube could have generated.

4. So why sell? Sometimes you just need a helping hand. In Twitch’s case, their growth made it difficult to keep up with themselves. In just 3 years they had erupted into an internet powerhouse, but being a small company they don’t have resources to devote to keep up the pace. That is where Amazon comes in.

So, is it a good idea? From the perspective of a streamer and viewer, I would much prefer to see Amazon behind the wheel than Google after the way they have handled copyright claims on YouTube. Amazon’s more hands-off policy suits me just fine. That seems to be the general consensus so there shouldn’t be a heavy loss of a viewer or streamer base. Now, there will be some of the diehards who rage quit that a company would ever “sell out” but this would be the case no matter who bought them. I think, no matter what, it will help Twitch grow as a company, however I am not yet convinced that Amazon serves to make as much money off of the deal as they are hoping. Especially in the face of posting such a major loss this past quarter. Well, I guess it can’t get any worse. Maybe that’s precisely what Jeff Bezos is thinking.

So now the real question is, what are you all thinking? Is it a good or a bad idea? Let me know in the comments section below.

About Matt Merlenbach

Matt Merlenbach is the founder of MetaGamr. He loves RPG's and fears no gazebo. Connect with him at the links below:

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