The mystery of who would acquire Twitch Interactive ended Monday after the company, along with its new parent, Amazon, confirmed the acquisition of the three-year-old video gaming platform. Earlier reports claimed that Google would pay $1 billion to integrate Twitch into YouTube. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Amazon said that in July more than 55 million unique visitors viewed more than 15 billion minutes of content on Twitch produced by more than 1 million broadcasters, including individual gamers, pro players, publishers, developers, media outlets, conventions and stadium-filling esports organizations.
Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com, said in a prepared statement: "Like Twitch, we obsess over customers and like to think differently, and we look forward to learning from them and helping them move even faster to build new services for the gaming community."
Digital video advertising in the U.S. will reach $5.96 billion this year -- up 41.9% from 2013, per eMarketer. By 2018, digital video ads will total $12.71 billion, eMarketer estimates. In the U.S., Amazon accounted for 1.4% of the $43 billion digital ad market in 2013, and should reach 1.7% this year, according to the data firm.
Emmett Shear, Twitch CEO, thanked the community on the company's blog. "I personally want to thank you, each and every member of the Twitch community, for what you’ve created," he wrote. "Thank you for putting your faith in us. Thank you for sticking with us through growing pains and stumbles. Thank you for bringing your very best to us and sharing it with the world. Thank you, from a group of gamers who never dreamed they’d get to help shape the face of the industry that we love so much."