Amazon chases YouTube with Twitch – but could it ever catch up?
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Amazon chases YouTube with Twitch – but could it ever catch up?

Ecommerce titan Amazon has a surefire thing in Twitch, a dedicated video game-streaming platform. Gaming enthusiasts from all over the world have flocked to the service… but Amazon wants more. Specifically, it wants more diversity – and it’s hoping that a platform-transformation, which leads to wider types of programming, could let Twitch compete with Google’s YouTube. Amazon has its work cut out: when it comes to watching videos online, YouTube’s the biggest dog in the yard.

Amazon’s share price has appreciated by 61% so far this year

graph 1608 amazon

SOURCE: Yahoo Finance

Amazon is aggressively pursuing livestreaming deals with a number of big players on the media landscape. Those range from big organisations like the National Basketball Association (which has agreed to livestream minor league games on Twitch) to global celebrities (Will Smith has, apparently, been approached) to YouTube stars (Tanner Braungardt, a Kansas prankster with 4 million YouTube subscribers, has now signed up with Twitch). A number of those approached have shared figures with Bloomberg, leading the publication to claim that Amazon is offering “minimum guarantees of as much as a few million dollars a year, as well as a share of future advertising sales and subscription revenue.”

Michael Aragon, Twitch Interactive’s senior vice president of content, said: “There will be a steady drumbeat of lots of new content we’re bringing on. We’re growing well, and that makes us an attractive destination for people looking to do new things in live, interactive entertainment.”

For now, Twitch will have to remain an underdog. It has around 15 million views a day; that sounds like a lot until you compare it to YouTube’s almost 2 billion a month. But with Twitch already offering its creators multiple ways to generate revenue streams, throwing money at big names, and being propelled forward by the genius of Amazon, who knows how well it can do?


Dominion holds Amazon (the parent company of Twitch) and Alphabet (the parent company of YouTube) in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.

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