Amazon buys Twitch for $970 million

Twitch.tv allows users to stream footage of its many, many users (and at least one fish) playing video games live.

Watching other people play video games might not sound exciting to everyone. But for gamers, it’s a whole different point of view – and a big market. Amazon wants a slice of that, so they have decided to purchase the video game start-up Twitch for $970 million.

"So, Twitch is this website, or some would call it a platform, that streams video game content and live game play to about 55 million people every month," says Ben Johnson, host of Marketplace Tech.

Why would Amazon pay almost a billion dollars for a start-up that allows people to watch others play "Pokémon"? Johnson says the numbers explain it all.

"Twitch had 43 percent of the live video streaming traffic by volume in a given week," says Johnson. "That’s above ESPN’s website, MLB.com, CNN."

Last year during a championship for the game "League of Legends", 32 million people were reportedly watching live.

"That’s more than the audience for the finales of Breaking Bad, 24 and The Sopranos combined," adds Johnson.

Watch live video from Nightblue3 on www.twitch.tv

Just one of many Twitch channels showing live footage of "League of Legends."

About the author

David Gura is a reporter for Marketplace, based in the Washington, D.C. bureau.

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