Online streaming gets the Amazon treatment
5 September 2014 by Ashton Carter
Twitch allows players to broadcast their live gameplay to viewers around the world. Viewers get to watch as if they were playing the game themselves, but the stream will usually feature a webcam and chat box which allows the player to interact with their audience while playing the game. Not only is Twitch popular with PC users but it is also built-in to Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s Playstation 4 games consoles.
Founded as Twitch.tv in June 2011, Twitch has since then gained over 55 million unique monthly viewers. This is primarily due to the massive rise in popularity of competitive gaming or “e-sports” over the last few years. This has led to Twitch becoming the perfect platform for fans to see more of their favourite professional players.
However, acquiring Twitch was no simple task for Amazon as they faced fierce competition in the form of Google’s YouTube. Earlier this year it was speculated that Google was on track to purchase Twitch for $1bn. Reportedly, it was only antitrust concerns caused by Google’s ownership of YouTube that caused the deal to fall through and provided Amazon with the opportunity to make the acquisition.
Back in April of this year, the Amazon Fire TV was unveiled as a digital media player which can be used to stream videos into high definition television. Through the use of a mobile app or an optional controller, the device can also serve as a substitute for a gaming console. As of July this year, Amazon have also entered the smartphone market with their Amazon Fire phone but are yet to release official sales figures for the device.
Both of these products would appear to synergise well with the acquisition of a massively popular streaming website, but exactly how Amazon intends to integrate Twitch into its products and develop it in the future is yet to be seen.
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