Amazon has been busy this year. Amazon Fire TV, the Fire Phone, same day delivery and and Amazon Prime have all been thrust forward in 2014. The online marketplace continues to take strides to become a bigger player in multiple internet based avenues. Now, they want to bring the world of online gaming, along with the idea that it can be a spectator sport, to their audience.
Amazon is buying Twitch Interactive for nearly a billion dollars, in cash, according to IGN.com.
The exact amount is near $970 million. Twitch is well known for broadcasting online gaming sessions for fans of the genre. People watch competitions in the same way many watch sporting events. In addition, users watch players work through games that they are struggling with or looking for new strategies for.
It has become a lucrative industry. Twitch reported over 55 million unique users last month. Website eMarketer has reported that companies in the United States will spend nearly $6 billion in digital advertising. Watching television simply does not mean the same thing anymore.
An interesting note is that Amazon and Google went head-to-head over Twitch with Amazon ultimately winning out. Speculation is that Amazon ensured Twitch that it would continue to operate as a unique entity and that Google was not willing to make that assurance. It is hard to imagine that Google, specifically due to the ownership of YouTube, would not have been a more logical landing spot for the gaming broadcaster.
The move is an interesting one that thrusts gaming into the mainstream focus like never before. With the backing of Amazon and the already successful focus of Twitch, it is hard to believe that the companies will not find some success.
Will you be watching Twitch? Does the move to Amazon bring the genre more legitimacy? Share your thoughts in the comments below.