Does Amazon Own Twitch? (All You Need to Know)

Thomas Joseph

Twitch is the undisputed champion for video game streaming. Over 91% of all video game streams are hosted by them, outpacing rivals like YouTube and Facebook. Given Amazon’s aim to expand beyond its core retail business, you may wonder if it has acquired Twitch. We were wondering the same; the following is what we uncovered.

While streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu compete for TV dominance, Twitch has already dominated video game streaming. The streaming platform serves over 2 million viewers at any given time, making it one of the most prominent sites on the internet.

As shown by the fall of Microsoft's Mixer, creating a product ground-up that rivals Twitch is almost impossible. Even with the financial resources it had, Microsoft could not scale Mixer to rival Twitch or YouTube. It would, therefore, not be viable for Amazon to start its own streaming platform from scratch. So, you may be wondering if Amazon has acquired Twitch, just like it has with tens of other companies. The short answer is yes.

If you are curious to learn more about Amazon’s acquisition of Twitch, this post is for you.


Table Of Contents

Does Amazon Own Twitch?

Amazon acquired Twitch in 2014 for $970 million in cash. At the moment, that was the largest deal in Amazon’s 20-year history. According to an internal source, the acquisition involved some retention agreements pushing the deal to over $1 billion.

At the time of the acquisition, it was known that Google was interested in buying Twitch. Google, however, backed out of the $1 billion deal due to antitrust concerns. This may have pushed Amazon to make the acquisition sooner, maybe even offering a better deal. Twitch, however, never publicly commented on Google's interest. Furthermore, neither Twitch nor Amazon commented on how the agreement was reached.

With Twitch, Amazon could now compete with Google and Apple in the fast-growing world of online gaming, accounting for more than 75% of all mobile app sales.

The acquisition also pushed Amazon further into the gaming community. Amazon was able to increase its video and ad revenue thanks to Twitch.


What Is Twitch?

 If you happen to enjoy streaming content, you will love Twitch. Twitch is a streaming platform enabling people worldwide to stream themselves doing things they love. You will find all sorts of channels and communities on Twitch.

The idea behind Twitch came from Justin Khan and Emmett Shear, who launched the site in 2007 as Justin.tv. Twitch then launched a partner program, enabling advertisers to share advertising revenue. This would act as an incentive to lure in more streamers to the platform.

In 2014, Justin.tv shut down and rebranded to Twitch Interactive. This enabled the company to focus solely on Twitch — the video gaming section.

Despite gaming being the main priority for the company, there is a wide range of content being offered by streamers. You will find content such as live vlogging, cooking, music, and more.

Emotes are one of the things making Twitch special. You can use the personalized emoticons in the chat box to chat with Twitch users and streamers. Even more popular is the “Just Chatting” section. As you may guess, these are streams where all streamers do is chat with the viewers. Twitch has impacted the gaming industry in many ways, even changing how people socialize and communicate.

 As aforementioned, Twitch has grown to dominate video game streaming. When it launched in 2011 as Justine.tv, the platform was already gaining traction due to its dedicated gaming channel — “Twitch TV,” the site's most popular section.

Before its acquisition in 2014, Twitch had just started being profitable. This was after raising $20 million in the capital. At the moment, the site was getting about 45 million monthly viewers and was looking to expand into non-gaming content, including music streaming.


Twitch Vs. The Competition?

The gaming industry is quite enormous. In fact, it is larger than the movie and music industries combined, yet it is only growing. Even though gaming does not get as much attention, it has a massive user base of over 2 billion people. It would, therefore, not come as a surprise that Twitch isn’t the only video game streaming company around. So what is Twitch’s competition? Let's find out.

Second to Twitch is YouTube—the second most popular site on the internet. YouTube has been streaming content for a long time before video game streaming was a thing. Even though YouTube dominates in video content, it has not been able to reach Twitch’s level when it comes to gaming.

Although Twitch and YouTube share much in common as video-sharing platforms, gamers seem to have strong opinions on which is better. When asked which is better, it all comes down to user interest. Twitch focuses solely on live-streaming content, whereas YouTube is meant for long-lasting content. Many people, therefore, prefer Twitch as there is more streamed content compared to YouTube.

Twitch has also popularized big streamers such as Ninja. With over 18 million followers on Twitch, many fans turn to the platform to watch his gaming sessions. The competition has taken note of this. In August 2019, Microsoft made a $50 million deal with Ninja for him to stream exclusively on Mixer — Microsoft's streaming platform.

Ninja later returned to Twitch after Mixer was shut down due to low traction. After Mixer was shut down, Microsoft moved all existing partners to Facebook Gaming— Another Twitch Competitor.

Given Twitch's current user base, it is highly unlikely that it will get any major competition in the coming years.


Bottom Line

Twitch is king when it comes to streaming gaming content. Amazon acquired the company in 2014 for $970 million. Since then, Amazon has grown to completely dominate video game streaming, dwarfing competitors such as YouTube. As of 2022, Twitch boasts more than 9.2 million active streamers.

Additionally, over 2.2 million users share a stream every month. Even though most of the streams are related to gaming, other types of streams, such as the one in the “Just chatting” category, are gaining traction. Given Twitch's dominance, it is highly unlikely that it will face major competition in the foreseeable future.

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