Amazon announced on Sunday that it has purchased videogame streaming service Twitch for $970 million.
This moves comes as rather a large shock, as it was heavily reported only a matter of weeks ago that it would be Google buying out the site. Instead, though, Amazon has added a sizeable weapon to its video content armoury.
Twitch may seem like something of a niche to those not ingratiated to the scene. It allows users to livestream themselves playing videogames. Other users can then watch them and interact with them, as well as other viewers, via a live chat utility. Users can be followed (just as you would subscribe to a YouTube channel) and particular favourites can be subscribed to. This occurs a small monthly fee which then unlocks an array of perks which vary from streamer to streamer – everything from participation in ‘subscribers only’ chat mode to private streams to even playing games with the streamers themselves.
Twitch currently accounts for 43% of all of the internet’s livestreaming video traffic by volume. The next most popular service, that of pro-wresting organisation WWE, brings in less than half of that. When it comes to peak traffic rates, Twitch sits behind only Netflix, Apple and Google in the United States. This is thanks to its 55 million unique users. In any given month, Twitch has an average of 8 billion page views for a total of 12 billion minutes of content watched.
Not only does Twitch enjoy a wealth of users, but these users are incredibly loyal, too. 58% of them rack up more than 20 hours a week viewing content on the site. Even the average user alone will spend 106 minutes a day on the site.
With a strong ad scheme and levels of monetisation already implemented Amazon can expect to see a return on its investment immediately, as Twitch is wildly profitable and growing by the day.