Update: Amazon has now confirmed the deal, snatching up the service for approximately $970 million.
Back in July there were several reports that claimed Google was close to reaching a final agreement to buy Twitch – a gaming-oriented video streaming site – for close to $1 billion. At the time it was believed that a public announcement of the deal would happen very soon, but now August is almost over and still no announcement.
So what gives? While it’s unclear what happened to the “imminent” Twitch/Google deal, the Wall Street Journal, The Information and several other high-profile news sites are reporting that Amazon and Twitch are now close to reaching a deal instead. The exact price of the arrangement is unknown, though it is believed to be over a billion dollar deal. If the sources prove correct, the deal is so close that it could be publicly announced as soon as today and very likely will go public sometime this week.
So why does Amazon want Twitch? For Google, it was likely about expanding its media reach into the gaming niche in a way that YouTube has been unable to accomplish on its own. For Amazon, which has no live video presence, it seems like a somewhat curious move. It’s certainly possible that Amazon could be looking to use Twitch to further expand its gaming ambitions, bringing Twitch game recording capabilities to its tablets and Amazon Fire TV platform in a way similar to its presence on modern gaming consoles. It’s also possible that Amazon hopes to use Twitch as a way to wiggle in and create a competitor service to Youtube, even though Twitch is currently aimed at the gaming community.
It’s really unclear at this point what will happen, though we’d not take too much stock into this rumor just yet, at least not until we learn a bit more. What do you think (if true), does it make sense for Amazon to acquire Twitch? What do you think Amazon will end up doing with the service — continuing its current path or expanding it into something completely different? Let us know in the comments!