Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is looking to expand its media and entertainment presence in the potential purchase of live-streaming gaming network Twitch, according to press reports.
Amazon could snatch Twtich from Google
If the deal is consummated, Amazon, which is reported in “late stage talks” with Twitch, could steal the firm right out from under the grasp of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL), which had previously shown interest in the San Francisco-based company.
In May various media reports said Google had finalized an agreement to purchase Twitch for $1 billion, but those reports were apparently premature.
Twitch is a site deeply embedded in the gaming industry, offering “gamers” a social network for communications and building friendships. The site boasts daily usage of 45 million people, far eclipsing the reach of many broadcast networks. Video games have always been a popular staple of online viewing as the category is consistently among the most popular content on YouTube.
Those playing video games can broadcast live-streams of their gaming adventures for other gamers to see, as if a friend was watching the gamer while sitting in the same room. Gamers can communicate with each other during the broadcast.
The launch of Amazon TV
Amazon launched Amazon TV as part of its Amazon Prime package with the goal to compete in a new arena for entertainment and information eyeballs. Other tech firms such as Netflix, Apple and Google are all moving in the direction of creating a significant media arm of their ever diversifying businesses to compete with traditional broadcast networks and cable companies. In this regard Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), in particular, has committed capital to invest in its own content creation, producing “House of Cards,” the popular drama starring Kevin Spacey, to draw in viewers.
The report, initially on the web site “The Information,” cited two unnamed sources who were “people familiar with the matter.” Twitch and Amazon did not officially comment for the story, the press report noted.
The purchase would come as good news to venture capital firms such as Thrive Capital, WestSummit Capital and Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTWO), all of whom participated in a $20 million capital raise this past September in Twitch.