As an experienced Amazon seller for over 10 years and ecommerce expert, I‘m often analyzing Amazon‘s latest business moves and how they impact the broader retail landscape.
So when it comes to the question – "Does Amazon own Twitch in 2023?" – I‘ve got some unique insights to share from an seller‘s perspective. Let‘s take a deeper look at how and why Amazon acquired Twitch, what the partnership looks like today, and whether Amazon is likely to relinquish ownership anytime soon.
A Quick Primer – What is Twitch?
For anyone unfamiliar, Twitch is an interactive live streaming platform, primarily focused around gaming content. Users can live stream their gameplay while viewers watch, chat, and interact in real-time.
Here‘s a quick rundown:
- Founded in 2011 as a spin-off of Justin.tv
- Allows anyone to live stream games, esports events, cooking, music, art and more
- Viewers engage via live chat and emotes while watching streams
- Streamers can monetize through paid subscriptions, ads, and virtual tips
- Most popular categories are Just Chatting, League of Legends, Fortnite, Valorant
- Over 2 million+ concurrent streamers and 15+ million daily visitors
So in essence, it‘s like YouTube but specifically optimized for people streaming themselves live while engaging with fans in real-time.
Twitch quickly became the #1 website for gaming live streaming, topping rivals like YouTube Gaming and Facebook Gaming.
Why Amazon Locked Down This Gaming Goldmine
When Amazon purchased Twitch back in 2014 for $970 million in an all-cash deal, it surprised many people. But as an experienced ecommerce seller, the strategic rationale was clear.
Here‘s why the acquisition made perfect sense:
Tap into the exploding gaming market. The video game industry was booming, with new games, consoles, tournaments. Twitch gave Amazon an instant foothold.
Engage young demographics. The average Twitch user is 21-35 years old. Perfect for marketing Amazon products and Prime subscriptions.
Cross-promote Amazon offerings. Integrate Twitch with other Amazon benefits like free games with Prime, exclusive game launches.
Leverage data & insights. Gain valuable data on the habits, interests and behaviors of millions of young consumers.
Develop live stream technology. Amazon wants to be a leader in live streaming across retail, entertainment and more.
Since 2014, Amazon has reaped the rewards of this calculated acquisition:
- Twitch‘s peak concurrent viewership has grown 5x to over 5 million
- Monthly active users are up almost 3x to 140 million
- Watch time has skyrocketed from 106 billion minutes to 1.72 billion hours
- Worth estimated at $15 billion, 15x Amazon‘s purchase price
And for Amazon, Twitch has become a crucial tentpole of their gaming and entertainment strategy.
How Has Amazon Integrated Twitch Deeper?
Rather than just owning Twitch as a standalone company, Amazon has integrated Twitch more intricately into its broader ecosystem:
Exclusive game deals & content: Free games every month with Twitch Prime along with in-game loot and bonuses.
Product launches & marketing: Using Twitch streams to unveil new products and game trailers. Paying top streamers to showcase Amazon devices.
Cross-platform benefits: Unlocking Twitch emotes, badges and perks by getting an Amazon Prime subscription.
Shared infrastructure: Leveraging Amazon Web Services to manage Twitch‘s massive live video infrastructure.
This deepening integration demonstrates Amazon‘s commitment to maximizing the strategic potential of Twitch.
By The Numbers: Why Twitch Is More Valuable Than Ever
Don‘t be mistaken – Twitch is bigger and more profitable today than ever before under Amazon‘s wing.
Just look at Twitch‘s growth in key metrics since being bought by Amazon:
|Monthly active users||45 million||140 million||211% increase|
|Streamers||1 million||8 million||700% increase|
|Hours watched||106 billion minutes||1.72 billion hours||1550% increase|
|Revenue||$36 million (2013)||$1.3 billion (2020 est.)||3500% increase|
And Twitch still has a long growth runway ahead in my view…
Why Amazon Won‘t Be Selling Twitch Anytime Soon
Given the exponential growth and just how deeply ingrained Twitch has become into Amazon‘s business, I don‘t foresee Amazon selling Twitch anytime in the foreseeable future.
A few reasons why:
- Would lose dominance in the thriving live streaming market
- Miss out on billions in future revenue growth
- Lose all the customer data and insights they‘ve gained
- Key pillar of their broader gaming and entertainment strategy
- Vital bridge to reach younger demographics
Unless they get an offer exceeding $20 billion, selling Twitch makes zero strategic sense for Amazon at this juncture. It would be a massive tactical blunder in my opinion.
Make no mistake – Amazon is in the Twitch game for the long haul.
Amazon: An Empire Built on Bold Acquisitions
Finally, Amazon purchasing Twitch fits perfectly with Amazon‘s proven strategy of growing through acquisitions.
Here are just some of Amazon‘s other bold purchases over the years:
- Zappos: Acquired for $1.2 billion in 2009. Still runs independently today.
- Ring: Bought for $1 billion in 2018. Now a leader in smart home technology.
- PillPack: Acquired for nearly $1 billion in 2018. Entered the online pharmacy space.
- Whole Foods: Bought for $13.7 billion in 2017. Helped Amazon crack into physical retail.
- MGM Studios: Purchased for $8.5 billion in 2022. Fueling Amazon‘s streaming ambitions.
For Amazon, acquiring market-leading companies in key strategic areas is all part of the game plan.
And for now, Twitch remains a critical piece on their chessboard that isn‘t going anywhere.
The Bottom Line
So in summary, yes – Amazon still owns Twitch in 2023 and will continue owning the dominant live streaming platform for years to come.
Buying Twitch gave Amazon instant access to valuable young demographics, robust data, and a thriving new market to conquer.
And with Twitch more successful than ever under Amazon‘s wing, don‘t expect them to surrender their streaming crown jewel anytime soon.
As an experienced Amazon seller, Amazon‘s calculated acquisition and careful integration of Twitch falls right in line with the strategies I‘ve come to expect from this tech titan.