Amazon buys Twitch

Written by Dr. Andrew Doan & Brooke Strickland on .

A recent news report states that Amazon just bought Twitch, a popular video game streaming site for nearly $1 billion.

Not sure what Twitch is?
Twitch is an online service that lets gamers stream their game playing live for other people to watch online or on phones via IOS or Android apps. It works with a variety of gaming platforms such as PlayStation, Xbox, and PC games. It also offers a chat function.  Doesn’t sound like anything too fancy, does it? But it has proven to be very popular.  In fact, it is reported to be the 166th most popular website in America and it also claims to have more than 55 million visitors a month. It has also been reported that Twitch is the fourth-largest source for U.S. Internet traffic, which means that it beats Facebook, Pandora, and Hulu. (1)  

What does it mean for Amazon?
Amazon’s purchase may not make sense at first glance. But, when you look at Twitch’s user base, it’s pretty clear as to why Amazon wanted to jump on this. The average Twitch user is 21 and spends 20 hours a week using the service. This is the perfect marketing opportunity for Amazon. Twitch is a form of entertainment – it’s like watching a movie or watching a show on television, and for many people, it has taken the place of these things. Instead of turning on the TV, they turn on Twitch. 

Amazon’s purchase of Twitch is just one of its recent purchases in the gaming space. In 2012, the company launched Amazon Game Studios and earlier this year, they bought the gaming studio Double Helix. In addition, they recently released a game controller for Fire TV, which provides users access to Amazon’s extensive library of movies, TV shows, online apps, and other services.  

Purchases like this show the huge pull that gaming has on our society. Now, not only are young people are spending hours upon hours immersing themselves in video games and the characters that are in the games, but now, another group of them are becoming sucked into just simply watching them.  Gaming addiction is very powerful and should not be minimized. If you feel like your loved one’s quality of life is being affected by the amount of time they spend gaming or watching games, it’s time to take action. Don’t enable them, but instead, provide support and find professional help. 

1.Dashevsky, Evan. “Amazon Buys Twitch, But What Is It?” PCMag.com. August 26, 2014.  Accessed online Oct 5, 2014. http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2465070,00.asp