Amazon Beats Google to Twitch Acquisition for $970 Million

Contrary to earlier rumors, Amazon has just closed a deal to purchase Twitch, a subscription site that streams live and on-demand playing on video games, for $970 million. Previous rumors had Google shopping the site for $1 billion for YouTube.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 e-sports 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,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com in a statement. “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.”In many ways, Amazon is better suited to expand Twitch’s freemium platform given its own premium platform for content consumption, Amazon Prime. Google has yet to monetize content through consumer payment, and integrating a premium subscription service through YouTube would have been more risky.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.