Print 22 comment(s) - last by Reclaimer77.. on Aug 27 at 1:30 AM

Amazon looks to expand its gaming presence

Well, that didn’t go as planned. Exactly one month ago, word on the street was that Google was all set to buy online streaming service Twitch Interactive for $1 billion. It appears that the only thing about those reports that was accurate was the $1 billion price tag (actually, $970 million), because Amazon today announced that it is the owner of Twitch.
“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,” said Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
Twitch CEO Emmett Shear championed the movie on the company’s official blog, writing:
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.

Twitch allows console (Xbox One, PlayStation 4, etc.) and PC users to broadcast their gameplay to others via the internet. For those that just like to sit back and watch other people do all the hard work in popular video games, it can be quite an amusing pastime.
Twitch has also been used more recently to livestream press conference from major shows like E3 and Valve’s “The International” gaming tournament.
According to Amazon, Twitch had over 55 million unique visitors during the month of July alone ad served more than 15 billion minutes of content.

Sources: Amazon, via Re/code, Twitch

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By inighthawki on 8/25/2014 5:05:51 PM , Rating: 2
I don't really understand this purchase. It doesn't really seem to make sense for them, or even Google. I could understand if it was Microsoft or Sony, or even someone like Valve. But Amazon has almost no gaming presence (or at least, nothing that people would care about watching/streaming).

RE: Odd
By Mitch101 on 8/25/2014 5:25:15 PM , Rating: 3
Twitch is very good at streaming video game content but Ive wondered if they would do something like stream your local high school football, baseball, Basketball, and field hockey games then twitch could work for something more than game streams. It could then have local advertising. Don't know hard to say I don't see the value in what they do currently worth 970 million but who knows maybe it is. Twitch could take a chunk out of all the other video sites when it comes to video games because of its integration and ease of use.

Curious to see where this goes.

RE: Odd
By StevoLincolnite on 8/25/2014 5:44:08 PM , Rating: 3
The big part of how Twitch integrates with Amazon though is that... Amazon sells video games.
Twitch's main content is about video games.

So it makes sense for Amazon to advertise the games it sells on the twitch streams.

RE: Odd
By littlebitstrouds on 8/26/2014 8:30:40 PM , Rating: 2
You can already stream these games using Google Hangouts on Air, straight to Youtube in 720p. You can even use a switcher.

RE: Odd
By imaheadcase on 8/25/2014 5:25:35 PM , Rating: 2
Not if you think about it. The do one thing, and one thing good. Streaming. Lets see, for the life of me I can't think what Amazon could want with a dedicated, one stop, streaming service. If only Amazon could have movies/tv shows they could stream without issues. :D

They don't have to change the service, they can just migrate over its current movie/tv collection to use twitch. It would be a huge, huge money maker for them if they not only gave it to prime members free, but charged to it (not the independent stuff though).

RE: Odd
By inighthawki on 8/25/2014 5:41:08 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, but streaming audio and video is different than streaming real-time user-supplied content. If all they wanted was a streaming service, I feel like they could've found a much more cost effective way to do it than to buy a Twitch for a billion dollars just to stream movies. Twitch has so much more value than that, and that's the part that boggles me. It's like buying a new car to replace your other car's transmission.

RE: Odd
By imaheadcase on 8/25/2014 6:16:44 PM , Rating: 3
A billion for something already in place that can do what you can't do already good.. makes sense to me.

RE: Odd
By sprockkets on 8/25/2014 5:26:33 PM , Rating: 2
It would make some sense for google but then again, they already have youtube.

They should just find a way to make their existing service better and not so dckish. While they have to do what they do, DMCA takedowns are really not in their favor.

RE: Odd
By FITCamaro on 8/26/2014 8:27:40 AM , Rating: 2
It made perfect sense for Google. Buy the competition up that does what you do better than you do it.

RE: Odd
By amanojaku on 8/25/2014 5:32:29 PM , Rating: 3
It makes a LOT of sense if you look at Amazon's moves over the last few years. The company began selling CDs and DVDs/BDs. Then it added streaming. Then it created the Kindle and added multimedia to it. Now, Amazon is a 3rd party offering content like Netflix.

Just like Netflix, Amazon is at the mercy of content provider pricing. Netflix moved to create content to lower costs, and Amazon is likely doing the same. Unlike Netflix, Amazon has a device in many people's hands that could automatically grant them access to content. Bundle games, movies, and music, along with some Amazon Prime thing and you've got customers for life.

RE: Odd
By Samus on 8/25/2014 7:57:46 PM , Rating: 2
But Amazon has almost no gaming presence

So now they do. In that regard, this purchase makes sense.

RE: Odd
By RapidDissent on 8/26/2014 2:07:24 PM , Rating: 2
But Amazon has almost no gaming presence (or at least, nothing that people would care about watching/streaming).

You seemed to answer your own question. They have zero streaming presence.

Why create a new group, hire developers and managers, and analyze patents and wait 2 years for a product rollout, when you can just buy all of that in a ready to go package?

970 million dollars
By coburn_c on 8/25/2014 10:10:23 PM , Rating: 3
Why on earth is a company like Twitch worth a billion dollars? Yea they have a somewhat well known name, but 'amazon streaming' would be just as good. I'm pretty sure they don't have some sort of proprietary algorithm, it's just flash video. I'm pretty sure they don't own their own distributed content system, and Akamai could do it just as well. Oh but they have a user base you say, does that mean every Russian hacker with an email list is a billionaire?

I just don't understand how in 2001, everyone realized a domain name and a web server doesn't equal billions of dollars, but 15 years later we've completely forgotten.

RE: 970 million dollars
By EricMartello on 8/25/2014 11:00:06 PM , Rating: 2
I just don't understand how in 2001, everyone realized a domain name and a web server doesn't equal billions of dollars, but 15 years later we've completely forgotten.

Billion dollar webserver? It was a different story in 1999...and you could say twitch is worth $1 bln because that's what someone was willing to pay. Amazon's retail profits have been pretty weak but their IT services have been doing quite well. I can see them integrating twitch's functionality with their other IT/Dev offerings.

The guys behind twitch had several other efforts that flopped for the most part. Twitch gained traction, largely thanks to youtube "gamer ecelebs" that have loyal followings who look up to them. I'll admit, I watch Swifty's vids sometimes...the bottom line is their popularity was not really gained so much as it was run-off of popular games. Quite clever, they got a lot of users without having to spend on any real advertising.

RE: 970 million dollars
By althaz on 8/25/2014 11:09:40 PM , Rating: 2
Twitch is quite well known and their userbase is expanding rapidly.

Buying them is a shortcut to setting up your own service. You get all the work Twitch has put in over the years, plus all of their content, plus all of their people (and folks like TheGunRun are worth their weight in gold).

Now, over time you could lure their content (streamers) and their talent (employees) - but that still leaves the last few years of Twitch getting it right. Even with the people, it'll be a while before you catch up to where Twitch are. And do you imagine Twitch are going to sit still? If not, you're going to have to spend quite a bit of money catching up to them. Not to mention you are going to have to be paying streamers to switch over, marketing heavily to get folks onto your site and spending more in R&D so you can not only catch up to but surpass Twitch.

All that money you spend is also basically worthless if Twitch don't fuck up. If Twitch handles their shit correctly, you probably won't be able to catch them.

RE: 970 million dollars
By FITCamaro on 8/26/2014 10:58:28 AM , Rating: 2
Twitch is also already well integrated into next-gen consoles and the PC space. Starting your own service means you have to try to get tons of players willing to add you in as well.

RE: 970 million dollars
By TakinYourPoints on 8/26/2014 8:13:05 PM , Rating: 3
The value isn't in the technology, its the built in audience that platform has.

WhatsApp wasn't bought for the technology. Any big tech can whip up a cross-platform app. Its price was for its massive and entrenched userbase.

Its the same thing with Twitch. There are other streaming platforms out there like Azubu, Hitbox, etc. None have the foothold and inertia that Twitch does though. If Amazon released a gaming-centric streaming service then it would be just as dead and irrelevant as the rest of them.

Amazon is paying a billion dollars for a dominant platform. The technology is completely beside the point.

I'm just glad gogle didn't get it
By SpartanJet on 8/25/2014 10:33:04 PM , Rating: 2
I already don't use ADtube, I didn't want to cross off Twitch.

By Murloc on 8/26/2014 6:20:10 AM , Rating: 2
I have always had adblock plus and I never saw any of the ads they introduced after a while, I found out they added ads to youtube simply because people complained in the comments of VEVO videos. Otherwise I might have never found out until a while later when I happened to access youtube from another computer.

RE: I'm just glad gogle didn't get it
By FITCamaro on 8/26/2014 10:59:20 AM , Rating: 2
Because seeing 5 seconds of ad before you're able to skip it ruins your day right?

RE: I'm just glad gogle didn't get it
By fearrun on 8/26/2014 4:09:15 PM , Rating: 2
It actually does ruin the experience. Viewing videos one after the other without ads is seamless. One can just transition from one video to another with minimal interaction.

The YouTube interface seems to change week to week. Currently with autoplay being enabled by default, if one forgets to disable it after opening a new video, another video in the channel list will begin playing. I have a feeling this is for ad revenue to be generated by unintended viewing (it also causes video view counts to be even more inaccurate).

Even before YouTube and internet ads had become obnoxious or even dangerous (yes I remember a time when I did not need AdBlock), TV ads had already desensitized me to the effectiveness of advertising. This is especially true with the proliferation of DVR technology. I believe there have been past articles in regards to advertisers working around this by timing certain frames to be more prominent during fast forwarding, which is actually quite fine.

The thing that irks me the most about video advertising is the mind numbing audio that accompanies it. Seeing a single still frame or maybe a few with no audio would be acceptable advertising. The amount of time wasted on ads on YouTube is compounded by the fact that many videos are too short to warrant any ad at all.

Since I am already wasting my time watching YouTube videos, I prefer to do it as efficiently as possible. If I was really interested in buying a product or service, I would use Google... you know to search for it.

I am epitome of a consumer who has extremely little to no interest in making purchasing decisions primarily based on advertising. Past experience and knowledge gained through research after determining a "need" or less often a desire for something are the attributes that hold the greatest weight for me in a purchase decision.

All of this makes an ad blocking tool indispensable in my daily internet browsing. I also view the advertising industry as a false economy. A great deal of revenue is placed into advertising, which inevitably increases the cost of products and services. Most of the money spent is not necessarily in the production of the ad, but in the placement instead. Even without an ad blocker, I would not doubt that the vast majority of clicks are false (unintended - through poor interface, being obstructive or mistaking it for a link to contextual information). Additionally the third party groups that manage ad distribution and placement on websites have poor and inconsistent filtering of malware (most of the advertised bloated utility software legitimate or not, I would consider malware at best).

"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay
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