Towards the end of July, website Venturebeat incorrectly reported that Google had bought game streaming service Twitch. That purchase was, according to Venturebeat, a done-deal with Google forking out $1 billion.
Turns out that Venturebeat was incorrect, because online retailer Amazon has in fact purchased Twitch for $970 million. That deal is super official and finalised; press releases and everything. The actual take-over is scheduled to be complete “in the second half of 2014”.
Incidentally, this now makes all the upset towards Google (caused by the news that Twitch was now blocking copyrighted music from archived videos) entirely unfounded. At the time, everyone (including us) assumed that this new Twitch rule was thanks to Google’s buyout, seeing as similar things happened on YouTube, and Google owns YouTube as well. Silly us.
Below you can find the complete press release that Twitch and Amazon fired out shortly after the deal was finalised. It’s going to be really interesting to see what Amazon brings to the table for Twitch, and vice-versa. I’m guessing links to purchase games on Amazon that pop up during game broadcasts. Or is that too obvious?
SEATTLE—August 25, 2014—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.
There’s also a letter from the Twitch CEO that you can read over on their website. The gist of it and probably the bit you’re most concerned about is this: “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. 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.”