Twitch has millions of unique broadcasters and works as a video game live-streaming platform for esports, music, and more creative content, bringing creators and fans together in a dynamic digital environment.
If you’re into video games and live streaming, you may be wondering, does Amazon own Twitch? I was wondering the same thing, so I did some research, and here’s what I found out!
Does Amazon Own Twitch?
Amazon owns Twitch after buying the interactive live-streaming platform for $970 million. As of 2014, the parent company, Amazon, oversees Twitch operations and benefits from its revenue. Twitch is part of Amazon’s growing portfolio of subsidiaries spanning everything from technology to retail, freight to publishing, and much more, with Amazon’s media assets worth $500 billion alone.
If you want to know more about Amazon’s relationship with Twitch, including why it purchased it and what you can do on Twitch, then check out the rest of my guide!
What Is Twitch?
Before diving into Amazon’s big purchase of Twitch, it helps to know what Twitch is all about and why it seemed like an attractive acquisition for Amazon.
With that, Twitch was founded in 2011 as a gaming content spinoff of Justin.tv.
Then, Twitch quickly grew to draw in over 35 million users every month and started attracting venture capitalists interested in the growing company.
Under Amazon’s leadership since 2014, Twitch has only grown, becoming the top video game and esports live streaming service in the U.S. Now, it has 15 million daily active users and over 27,000 partner channels.
Further, what’s unique about Twitch is how it connects popular streamers with their fans.
Whether for live video games, esports, cooking shows, talk shows, gaming conventions, or other social commentaries, Twitch connects people to the content they love.
The platform is made for long-form live broadcasts, and while it’s free to download the Twitch app and watch Twitch streams, some broadcasters have monthly subscriptions with special benefits for their biggest fans.
Overall, Twitch targets a tech-obsessed demographic, with 65% of its users being male and 73% under the age of 35.
As the Amazon-owned live streaming service continues on an upward trajectory, Twitch’s Partner Program has skyrocketed by 68% since 2017, bringing more creators on board to boost the platform.
Why Did Amazon Purchase Twitch?
Amazon saw a lot of potential in Twitch when the $970 million acquisition came about in 2014.
In just a few short years, Twitch enjoyed exponential growth and started attracting the attention of investors and buyers.
Before Amazon locked in the deal, there was speculation YouTube planned to buy Twitch, with reports coming out that YouTube’s parent company Google had reached a preliminary billion-dollar deal to purchase the live-streaming service.
Within a few months, the original Justin.tv site abruptly shut down, with the creators saying they needed to focus entirely on Twitch.
That was on August 5, 2014, and it was just weeks later, on August 25, that Amazon announced its all-cash deal to buy Twitch Interactive.
Additionally, media outlets such as Forbes reported that Amazon bought Twitch after Google backed out due to antitrust concerns with its existing YouTube ownership.
So, Amazon retains ownership of Twitch to this day, and the streaming platform has continued to grow since the initial takeover.
Will Amazon Sell Twitch?
At this stage, it seems highly unlikely that Amazon will sell Twitch anytime soon, as the company tends to retain its subsidiaries and invest in them for future growth rather than sell them off.
After all, Amazon is considered a leader in the global tech and retail industries, so it makes sense that it wants to keep growing and expanding rather than sell off assets to stay afloat.
Therefore, as long as Twitch is profitable for Amazon and the e-commerce giant continues growing, industry experts expect Amazon to keep Twitch rather than sell it.
Also, while there isn’t much speculation about Amazon selling Twitch, there is talk of Amazon potentially licensing out Twitch live stream tech to other companies in the future.
Amazon hasn’t started doing this yet, but it could be a possible way to monetize Twitch further and expand the platform’s presence.
Further, one thing to note is that major Amazon deals often come as a surprise.
That said, this is because the company always does careful research before making high-level strategic decisions.
So, this means that even if Amazon does plan to one day sell Twitch in the future, it will be hard to know until Amazon announces a decision.
In recent years, part of Amazon’s incredible success is due to its careful, conservative approach to massive business deals.
Overall, there’s no doubt that Amazon’s exponential growth results from smart investments and leadership, including Twitch’s takeover.
Does Amazon Invest in Other Tech Companies?
Amazon’s acquisition of Twitch is just one example of how the e-commerce and tech giant likes to invest in other tech companies, especially those that fill a gap in Amazon’s portfolio.
Since its founding in 1994, Amazon has acquired over 100 companies, including smaller retail or tech firms.
While Twitch is up there on the list of massive Amazon acquisitions, it’s not alone, as the e-commerce giant has made some even bigger purchases in recent years.
Although Amazon buys a lot of companies, it was considered a rather conservative investor until recently compared to Microsoft and Google.
Now, Amazon’s acquisition portfolio features an array of tech companies and smaller e-commerce sites from different countries worldwide.
In addition to tech acquisitions, some other major Amazon deals include purchasing Whole Foods for $13.7 billion in 2017, which remains Amazon’s biggest acquisition to date.
Then, Amazon’s first billion-dollar acquisition came in 2009 when it bought online shoe retailer Zappos for $1.2 billion.