CONFIRMED: Amazon Purchases Twitch

by Mike Futter on Aug 25, 2014 at 10:04 AM

Update #2: Amazon has announced the purchase of outstanding Twitch shares for $970 million cash. The deal has been approved by Twitch's shareholders and is scheduled to close later this year.

Update #1: Twitch CEO Emmett Shear has confirmed his company's acquisition by Amazon. The news comes by way of a letter on Twitch's website.

Dear Twitch Community, It’s almost unbelievable that slightly more than 3 years ago, Twitch didn’t exist. The moment we launched, we knew we had stumbled across something special. But what followed surprised us as much as anyone else, and the impact it’s had on both the community and us has been truly profound. Your talent, your passion, your dedication to gaming, your memes, your brilliance - these have made Twitch what it is today.

Every day, we strive to live up to the standard set by you, the community. We want to create the very best place to share your gaming and life online, and that mission continues to guide us. Together with you, we’ve found new ways of connecting developers and publishers with their fans. We’ve created a whole new kind of career that lets people make a living sharing their love of games. We’ve brought billions of hours of entertainment, laughter, joy and the occasional ragequit. I think we can all call that a pretty good start.

Today, I’m pleased to announce we’ve been acquired by Amazon. 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. I personally want to thank you, each and every member of the Twitch community, for what you’ve created. Thank you for putting your faith in us. Thank you for sticking with us through growing pains and stumbles.

Thank you for bringing your very best to us and sharing it with the world. Thank you, from a group of gamers who never dreamed they’d get to help shape the face of the industry that we love so much. It’s dangerous to go alone. On behalf of myself and everyone else at Twitch, thank you for coming with us.

Emmett Shear, CEO

No further details about the timing of the acquisition or the purchase price have yet been disclosed.

Original Story:

A new report indicates that a new suitor is wooing popular streaming site Twitch. Previous reports paired Google and YouTube with the growing service, but today’s news suggests another heavyweight company’s interest.

According to The Information and, subsequently, the Wall Street Journal, Amazon is in talks to acquire Twitch. According to the Wall Street Journal, which cites a source who has been briefed, the deal would be worth over $1 billion and could be announced as early as today. Previous reports suggested a similar price tag with Google as the buyer.

In recent weeks, Twitch has made moves to clean up its copyright problems. The company shut down Justin.tv, the website that pre-dated Twitch as a home for game streaming. Twitch also made changes to the way it handles licensed music played underneath streams and in games like Grand Theft Auto V.

We’ve reached out to Twitch and Amazon for comment on this matter. We’ll update should we receive a response.

[Source: The Information, Wall Street Journal]


Our Take
The troubling thing about this news isn’t the change in prospective buyers, it’s that the Google/Twitch deal was reported as “confirmed” by the outlet we sourced. It’s important to note that until paperwork emerges or a press release or statement is issued, no deal should be considered final.

Amazon is an interesting fit with Twitch, as it positions the company well to compete on Google’s turf. Amazon is currently having some financial troubles though, and may see this as an in-road to established advertising dollars and an engaged audience.