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Don't be evil Amazon

Sean Black's picture

This may be a bit of old news but it is worth talking about. Amazon has bought Twitch. Yeah, that’s right – AMAZON.

Recently there has been huge speculation about Twitch buyouts, including all the usual big players like Microsoft and Google, for incredulous amounts of money. Up until very recently, it was generally accepted that Twitch was acquired by the search giant because of some recent changes to the site – some receiving instantaneous, harsh criticism.
One of the features talked about was the ability for streamers to have live annotations on any of their YouTube videos alerting the audience when he/she is live on Twitch. Cool feature – and something which would make you go: ‘yes, Google now owns Twitch.’
Another change we saw in Twitch was the muting of channels in half hour chunks if copyrighted music was played in the background of a stream; which had the unintended side effect of muting videos containing nothing more than in-game audio. Something that never happened before on Twitch and something many people said is typical of Google. Generally screwing with a tried system, and fucking it up.
Then came the reports that Amazon was buying the streaming site. And those reports turned out to be true. For $970 million. People did a double take because what is Amazon doing?

However, it seems to make sense when looking at each company and where their future visions seem to be going. Twitch has begun to stream live music concerts and Amazon has acquired game developer Double Helix games.
Furthermore, we learnt that Google and Twitch chose not to complete the buyout because of antitrust issues – something Google has suffered with numerous times in the past.
Following that backlash – Amazon has promised not to change the formula of Twitch following the billion dollar buyout. This has left some glimmer of hope for those aggravated streamers who have been muted and/or lost archived videos. Here is the original letter from Twitch CEO Emmett Shear.
What does this all mean? Well, for those who use Twitch (to watch or stream) having access to the resources that Amazon could be a huge plus. It could streamline the service – especially something as fundamental as buying a game you are watching being streamed or buying an album that is playing live.
Altogether, the move makes sense in my opinion and as someone who uses Twitch to watch livestreams I find myself content. I wasn’t affected greatly by the ‘Google’ issues and so wasn’t against that either, but this move has my attention. I am eager to see where Amazon can take Twitch, and potentially, the future of broadcast entertainment on the Internet.


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