After a good deal of speculation that Google would scoop up gaming live streaming service Twitch, it turns out that Amazon has acquired the company in deal a several million shy of $1 billion.
In an all-cash, $970 million deal, Amazon will be getting a service that managed to real in 55 million unique visitors last month. That’s a lot of eyes watching the streams and a nice pool to push ads too. It would’ve been a perfect fit for Google who are already extremely established when it comes to advertising.
Within that 55 million, you have users who subscribe to certain players and will want to support them by viewing ads during break. There are also viewers who either don’t have that base tech savvy to install an ad blocker or who are too lazy to bother. Other than that, the bulk would probably go to other lengths to avoid dealing with ads—as has been done with YouTube, DailyMotion, and the now defunct Justin.TV.
While discussing the highlights of Twitch in the official statement on the deal, Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos stated that both companies “obsess over customers and like to think differently.” He went on to say that Amazon would be paying attention to Twitch to see how they could build onto Twitch.
Even though Google isn’t picking up Twitch, it still has its own gaming community and streaming system to draw from. It’s not as readily accessible for “relaxed viewing” or competitive gaming as Twitch, but YouTube does have its own clutch of stars when it comes to gaming and the communities are very different even with crossover viewers.
So what can we expect for gamers out of the deal? Being the most vocal online community—as evidenced by getting Microsoft to change its mind on the direction of the Xbox One and back to back The Consumerist “Worst Company in America” awards for EA—dramatic changes and a flood of irrelevant ads aren’t going to cut it. Perhaps there will be special discounts for subscribers or more warehouse sales.
Amazon and Twitch are busy working out the specifics of the deal as well as regulation issues. We can hear something on a finalized deal before the end of the year—perhaps just in time for Amazon’s launching of “Amazon Sponsored Links” and further structuring of their ad network.