Amazon acquired Twitch back in 2014 for around $1 billion – beating out Google for the game streaming platform. Amazon has made some changes to Twitch since acquiring the platform, but now it appears that Amazon is looking to make some more drastic changes to it. Amazon wants Twitch to compete with YouTube, essentially to command the type of ad revenue that a video site like YouTube would command. So instead of just being a platform for streaming games, Twitch will offer other content as well.
Recently, Amazon has been pursuing some livestreaming deals that would be exclusive to Twitch, and it has reached out to many popular media companies and personalities. Many of these personalities also have large YouTube followings. Twitch has also gone as far as to offer minimum guarantees of a few million dollars each year, in addition to sharing advertising revenue and subscription revenue with the personality. Some of the names that Twitch has reached out to include Gigi Gorgeous, Will Smith, and Tanner Braungardt. Twitch has struck deals with Braungardt as well as the NBA to stream some minor league games.
Currently, Twitch is far behind YouTube and even Facebook’s Watch, in terms of viewers. Which means that Amazon is going to have a large mountain to climb, if it really wants to compete with YouTube. Twitch currently has 11 million unique viewers, while Facebook has 62 million, and YouTube has 139 million. Now many people have done videos on YouTube due to the revenue sharing from ads and YouTube Premium, that’s something that other platforms that have tried to compete with YouTube have failed to do. But it looks like Amazon has learned from others’ mistakes, as it is offering revenue sharing here. However, getting people to jump from YouTube over to Twitch – to what is a far smaller audience – is going to be a tough thing. Just to put it in perspective, there are some YouTubers who have the same amount of viewers if not more, than all of Twitch. Which is pretty telling.