Amazon, in its efforts to increase its video-streaming offerings, plans to buy live-streaming video game site Twitch for more than $1 billion, according to media reports published Monday.
The companies could announce the deal as early as Monday, unnamed sources told The Wall Street Journal.
Amazon and Twitch did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The news was first reported by The Information.
If true, the deal would help Amazon expand its video-streaming service, as it pits its fledgling Amazon Prime Instant Video streaming service against streaming giant Netflix. The Internet retailer has made it clear that it is committed to growing its video offerings, including the development of original content.
Twitch is a video platform that streams content geared toward gamers, including live gaming footage, commentary, and online shows. While Twitch did not comment on the reported deal, the company said Monday it counts more than 1.1 million unique broadcasters per month, up from 600,000 in November last last year. Their videos are reaching more than 55 million gamers, up from 45 million before. On average, Twitch said, users watch 106 minutes per day.
Gaming is not an area where Amazon has made a lot of progress. Although it launched its Amazon Game Studios two years ago, it has sparse offerings. But, the retailer clearly wants a piece of the video game market. When it unveiled its media-streaming device Fire TV in April, it also rolled out an optional controller for video game play.
Twitch, launched in June 2011 by Justin.tv co-founders Justin Kan and Emmett Shear, made headlines this year for the live streams of a crowdsourced game of Pokemon and goldfish playing classic video games. Videos on the site can also be streamed on Microsoft Xbox and PlayStation 4 game consoles.
Google was reportedly in talks to buy Twitch earlier this year. The acquisition would have expanded the scope of YouTube’s video ambitions. Neither company commented on the reports.
The deal ultimately fell through, an unnamed source told Recode, and Amazon stepped in to pursue the streaming site.
original article via: CNET