Google Will Not Buy Twitch.tv... Amazon Did.

Subject: General Tech | August 25, 2014 - 03:49 PM |
Tagged: amazon, twitch, twitch.tv, google

Well this is a surprise (and I think a pleasant one). We were under the impression that YouTube, the video distribution arm of Google, was planning to purchase Twitch for $1 billion USD (pending regulatory approval). Today, it was made official: Amazon would be purchasing the video streaming platform. Twitch's CEO, Emmett Shear, published an open letter to their community with a message of thanks and a confirmation of Amazon's acquisition.

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I guess "eSports" is ready for... Prime time.

Twitch did not mention their value, but don't worry -- Amazon published a press release. The retail and infrastructure giant will pay $970 million in cash. The entire deal is expected to finalize "in the second half of 2014". Since we are already in the second half of 2014, that means any time between now and New Year's (assuming "Calendar 2014").

On the copyright front, I believe this is a major step forward. We originally feared that YouTube, and its parent company, Google, would impose a similar system to their own upon Twitch, to appease copyright owners. This is a problem because YouTube's copyright complaint system is plagued with abuse. I hope that Amazon and Twitch will be more friendly to potential, unproven infringers than YouTube has demonstrated itself to be.

Lastly, Amazon has a big, existing business in web infrastructure and online content delivery. Whether you look from the angle of Prime Video or Amazon Web Services (EC2, CloudFront, etc.), the company can handle sending bits from one place to another. They seem to be a good fit on on that front.

If there was any doubt that Amazon wants to be a big part of the gaming industry, it is gone.

Source: Amazon
August 25, 2014 | 04:33 PM - Posted by Tungus

Small win, but twitch is still in need of VAST improvement.

August 25, 2014 | 04:43 PM - Posted by sunderian

lol people think that Google was under pressure to avoid copyright issues, what do you think Amazon will do? o well maybe people will stop lambasting google for doing what anyone in a position to acquire twitch would and in Amazon's case will do

August 25, 2014 | 06:43 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

Amazon doesn't have a perfect record (there is that 1984 Kindle eBook and Disney Christmas book problem). YouTube seems pretty awful, though, particularly in terms of recourse for alleged infringers. I also expect that Amazon will have better customer service than Google.

August 25, 2014 | 07:04 PM - Posted by Anonymous Ashley (not verified)

Yet Amazon hasn't had any social networking platform for us to look back to. It will be interesting to see how well they handle this. Google as we can see, would prefer real names, G+ integration, and auto-takedowns on copyrighted content (or what a bot thinks is copyrighted). Amazon? We don't have a specific example.

August 25, 2014 | 08:13 PM - Posted by Goofus Maximus (not verified)

I honestly doubt Amazon will be any better than Google on this issue, since they love playing hardball when it comes to money issues, and they have even more reason to coddle copyright holders than Google ever did.

August 25, 2014 | 07:31 PM - Posted by snook

It was mentioned on TR iirc, a link to purchase ID'd music etc. is an option. Much better than the alternative of muting. Amazon has the ability to pull something like that off and just maybe show a viable alternative to copyright infringement claims vs. Revenue generation models.

August 26, 2014 | 04:45 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I would have preferred Google purchase them. Amazon's sorting, searching, and queueing functionality is horrendous when it comes to streaming video. I have Prime, but avoid the streaming services as much as possible. You'd think they would make finding Prime-eligible videos simple, like Netflix, but they just mix it all together. One second you're watching a free episode of something, the next second it costs $2.99, the next second you think it's free but it's really just a clip from the episode.

No matter, something will replace Twitch soon enough.

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