Amazon earlier this week agreed to pay $970 million in cash to acquire Twitch, a website that lets users watch and broadcast video game play.
In its statement, Amazon noted 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 sports organizations.
The online social community enables viewers to follow their favorite channels, chat with one another while watching content, and send and receive direct messages.
"Broadcasting and watching gameplay is a global phenomenon and Twitch has built a platform that brings together tens of millions of people who watch billions of minutes of games each month — from The International, to breaking the world record for Mario, to gaming conferences like E3. And, amazingly, Twitch is only three years old," said Jeff Bezos, Amazon's CEO, in a 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."
"Being part of Amazon will let us do even more for our community," said Twitch CEO Emmett Shear. "We will be able to create tools and services faster than we could have independently. This change will mean great things for our community, and will let us bring Twitch to even more people around the world."
That still left many answers about how Twitch fits with the world's largest online retailer.
Some saw it as a way for Amazon to jump into gaming to offer an alternative to Sony and Microsoft. Also cited was the opportunity to create a formidable streaming platform to compete with YouTube, owned by Google, and Netflix.
With digital video advertising taking off, others believe Amazon may use Twitch to jumpstart its fledgling online ad business. Other reasons for the acquisition cited were developing content overall, a way to scale Amazon's cloud computing infrastructure, as well as the path to reach young/tech-savvy hard-core video gamers.
But a few also admitted that, much like the questionable acquisitions of Facebook/Oculus Rift and Apple/Beats, the value may not be apparent at first.
"It is very hard to predict what the next big thing in tech will be, so by having fingers in multiple pies, Amazon can be more sure it will have a stake in whatever the future holds," wrote James O'Malley, editor at TechDigest.
Of the following, which do you think Amazon's acquisition of Twitch was most about?