Even though Amazon’s acquisition of Twitch came packed as a shocking surprise given the fact that everyone thought the video game streaming platform had already secretly signed the deal with Google, the whole thing makes sense.
Aside from Amazon’s desire to one-up Google, especially since the two companies are battling it out on numerous fields, there’s a good value in the purchase, especially since Amazon has been quite clear about its plans to become a player in the gaming industry.
Sure, the company’s efforts haven’t exactly been obvious, but Amazon does have a gaming studio which it launched in 2012. If you scour the Internet, you’ll even find a few Facebook and mobile games bearing the stamp of creation of Amazon’s game design studio.
The company went a step further by hiring the designer behind the “Portal” game and buying Double Helix Games, the developer behind “Killer Instinct” just to make a point about its intentions.
Then, it launched Fire TV where it offers games on top of movies, music and books, some of which were created within the Amazon studios. All in all, Amazon already sells everything you may think of and delves in a wide range of domains, so gaming makes sense for the company.
Now, $970 million is a big sum, but it does reflect not only the value of Twitch, but also the potential the company has and how much the platform could grow in the coming months and years. After all, Twitch has already managed to reach 55 million monthly users in just three years since its launch.
Other stats are even more impressive. For instance, Business Insider reports that Twitch accounts for more than 43 percent of all live video streaming video traffic by volume, which is an incredible stat.
Then, when it comes to peak Internet traffic in the US, Twitch follows behind Netflix, Apple and Google, indicating a really high usage rate.
Twitch claims that 58 percent of users spend more than 20 hours a week watching videos on the site, while about 12 billion minutes of content were watched every month on the platform in 2013, a number that had doubled compared to 2012.
“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,” Twitch’s CEO Emmett Shear said of the acquisition.
This statement alone indicates that Amazon has big plans for the gaming industry. In opposition, Google hasn’t really been making any effort to enter this business, focusing instead on the many other projects it has.
If Google had bought Twitch, it would have integrated the service with YouTube even more. This would have given the world’s most popular video platform an edge with gamers, even though they’re already quite present on YouTube. After all, the most popular YouTuber is PewDiePie, a Swedish video game commentator.
The two platforms are already quite well intertwined, so on one hand, would have been a perfect fit if Google won the acquisition war.
News of Amazon buying Twitch has been quite well received so far as most users are particularly happy that they won’t have to deal with Google, saying that they’d have deleted their accounts if the deal went through. This was probably also an element that Twitch's execs took into account before choosing Amazon instead of Google.
That being said, it should be interesting to see how this goes from here on out and what Amazon will do next to help out Twitch and its new business wing.