Rumors of video game live-streaming service Twitch.tv being acquired by Google for $1 billion have been slightly exaggerated. It turns out the price of the biggest gaming live-streaming site on the internet is only $970 million, about $30 million shy of that billion-with-a-B mark. But the rumor was wrong in one huge way: it’s Amazon, not Google, spending the scratch on a streaming future.
Live-streaming play and eSports are a nascent but booming business. Twitch, which has only been in operation for three years, has had extremely rapid growth.
In 2012 they boasted 20 million unique viewers per month; in 2013, that had more than doubled to 45 million unique viewers per month. As of July this year, they were up to 55 million per month.
For comparison, Netflix just hit the 50 million subscriber mark.
Those 55 million viewers watched 15 billion minutes of content just last month, according to the press releases — that’s 250 million hours, or about 28,500 years. And over one million broadcasters were streaming those 25k years of content to those 55 million viewers.
The buyout makes sense for Twitch: Amazon has a huge, robust, and highly scalable web hosting and cloud streaming operation that Twitch can definitely benefit from as they grow. And as for Amazon, they’ve been branching out into original content for years, both with video and also with a game development studio. Put streaming video and video games together, and Twitch is what you get.
And Amazon probably doesn’t mind keeping competitor Google’s hands off of this potential money factory, either.