[Updated]Is Amazon Trying To Break Up YouTube and Twitch?

Updated 4/25/14 It looks like it’s official. Twitch CEO Emmett Shear has confirmed via a blog post that Twitch has been acquired by e-commerce giant Amazon. In his post Shear alludes to Amazon’s faith in the Twitch community and a shared vision for the future of the brand. So far the reaction from Twitch users on social media has ranged from surprise, to skepticism, to relief. A full summary of the deal is likely still days or weeks away but NMR will continue to follow the story as it unfolds.
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What’s this? Rumors are swirling that our online video OTP could be in danger! That’s right, the internet is buzzing with talk that Amazon, the e-commerce giant and recent entry into the online video space, could be angling to break-up the perfect pairing of YouTube and game streaming platform Twitch. According to a report by The Information has been picked up by a number of outlets Amazon has turned in a last minute offer that might make it the new front runner for Twitch’s affections.

YouTube’s acquisition of Twitch seemed to be all but a done deal a few weeks ago. Twitch had even started censoring copyrighted content to bring its archived videos into line with YouTube’s copyright standards. However, like a dude with a fear of commitment, YouTube has refused to comment on what it called “rumors and speculation” of a deal between the two. Speculation has been fueled by months of cooperative actions between the two companies, including a recent move by YouTube to add “Twitch broadcast alerts” to user’s videos essentially steering traffic off of YouTube and onto Twitch, a supposed competitor.

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At this point the rumor of an offer from Amazon is just one more piece of speculation to throw onto the pile. All three companies remain stubbornly silent about their future be it together or separately. It would certainly make sense for Amazon to make a bid for Twitch. The e-commerce giant has faltered somewhat in its efforts to generate new revenue through online video and the increasingly popular Twitch could help to reinvigorate those efforts. Still would any amount of video revenue be enough for Amazon to cough up enough cash to beat YouTube’s rumored $1 billion offer?

The only guaranteed winner in this scenario is Twitch. Whether there is truth behind the rumors or not, the speculation could drive up the company’s value to a potential buyer. As for who that buyer will be, we’ll have to wait and see.

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