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Amazon focuses on common interest in the customer as it buys Twitch

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Amazon announced today that it had bought live video streaming Twitch Interactive for $970m (£585m). The retailer and entertainment giant put the emphasis on the two organisations’ common focus on the customer among its reasons for the acquisition.

More than a million gamers, professional players, publishers, developers and others used the live video platform to produce content in July alone. That content was viewed by more than 55m unique visitors.

Amazon’s chief executive and founder Jeff Bezos says Twitch’s approach to customers in the gaming sphere is like its own in retail – and beyond. The move marks a further step into gaming for the retailer, which has moved from pure retailing into entertainment in recent years with acquisitions such as that of Lovefilm in the UK, now the foundation of the Amazon Instant Video service.

“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 Bezos.

He added: “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 – from The International to breaking the world record for Mario, to gaming conferences like E3. And, amazingly, Twitch is only three years old.”

Twitch launched in June 2011, and its full acquisition by Amazon is expected to close in the second half of 2014.

“Amazon and Twitch optimise for our customers first and are both believers in the future of gaming,” said Twitch chief executive Emmett Shear. “Being part of Amazon will let us do even more for our community. We will be able to create tools and services faster than we could have independently. This change will mean great things for our community and will let us bring Twitch to even more people around the world.”

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