Amazon buys video-game streaming site Twitch

Aug 26, 2014, 6:40 AM EDT
 Amazon has bought video-game streaming service Twitch for $970M.
AFP/Getty Images

In a surprise move, Amazon has bought video-game streaming service Twitch for $970m (£585m). The BBC writes:

Earlier in the year, Google's YouTube had been reported to be in late-stage acquisition talks for a similar amount. Founded in 2011, Twitch - formerly known as Twitch.tv - allows users to watch other people play video games.

As of July of this year, the service had over 55 million unique monthly viewers. "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," said Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos in a statement. "

We look forward to learning from them and helping them move even faster to build new services for the gaming community," he added.

An acquisition by Amazon and the lofty price tag would seem to validate the rise of gaming as a spectator sport. CNN reports:

"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," Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement.

The deal represents a potential setback for Google's YouTube. Earlier this year, reports swirled indicating YouTube was in talks to acquire Twitch for over $1 billion. Twitch, which was founded in 2011, is not exactly a household name.

But it's clear the service is catching on in the gaming world. With more than 55 million visitors per month, Twitch calls itself the world's leading video platform and community for gamers.

Twitch represented a whopping 1.35% of all Internet traffic in March, according to networking company Sandvine. To put that into perspective, Twitch generated more traffic than even HBO GO, Sandvine said. (HBO is owned by CNNMoney parent Time Warner.

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