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Amazon bets big that there's a market for watching gamers play - buys Twitch for $970m

Google looked the favourites to land the deal but lost out.

Source: Forbes/YouTube

AMAZON HAS BEATEN off completion from Google to buy video game streaming platform Twitch Interactive for $970 million.

The deal was announced by Twitch’s CEO Emmett Shear this evening who said that they chose Amazon because “they believe in our community, they share our values and long-term vision, and they want to help us get there faster”.

Twitch is an online community that is used mainly by gamers to watch each other play.

Users can also use Twitch to chat with the platform having 55 million visitors last month.

Shear is one of the co-founders of the highly successful streaming service Justin.tv which has a gaming section. Shear ran with the idea that this was niche to be exploited and Twitch was the result.

Twitch looked likely to be taken under the Google banner with Youtube looking the favourite to land it but Amazon has managed to gazump the deal.

Amazon already has an in-house gaming studio that makes games, and its Fire TV set top box was designed to attract gamers.

As video gaming grows into an online spectator sport, gameplay video feeds are becoming increasingly lucrative.

According to eMarketer, Digital video advertising in the US will reach $5.96 billion this year, up 41.9% from 2013.

- With reporting from Associated Press

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Rónán Duffy

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