Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 25th Aug 2014 21:13 UTC
Games

Everybody thought it would be Google, but it's actually Amazon.

Today, I'm pleased to announce we've been acquired by Amazon. We 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. We're keeping most everything the same: our office, our employees, our brand, and most importantly our independence. But with Amazon's support we'll have the resources to bring you an even better Twitch.

Most of the times some hot startup gets acquired it's some vague nonsense I don't care about, but Twitch - Twitch I care about. I use it almost every day, and seeing it in the hands of a company with zero presence in my home country and no history with video, streaming (like I said, Amazon has no presence here), or gaming makes me uneasy.

Twitch is one of the very rare cases where I would have actually preferred Google - or better put, YouTube - buy it. Google+ is by no universally accepted as a mistake, Google is backtracking from it, so that most likely would not have been an issue. The combination Twitch+YouTube looked great on paper - much better than Amazon+Twitch.

This acquisition has me worried for the future of Twitch.

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No streaming?
by btrimby on Mon 25th Aug 2014 21:47 UTC
btrimby
Member since:
2009-09-30

Did you just say amazon has no experience in streaming and video?


Amazon is the main competitor to Netflix in the US.

Reply Score: 5

RE: No streaming?
by TemporalBeing on Mon 25th Aug 2014 22:08 UTC in reply to "No streaming?"
TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

Did you just say amazon has no experience in streaming and video?


Amazon is the main competitor to Netflix in the US.


Hardly. Yes, Amazon Prime Video is there, but between the two (and yes I have accounts with both) I only use Netflix for video. Why? Because Amazon makes it so darn confusing by only including a small portion of their video library as free viewing; so you always have to make sure it's not a rental or purchase. You can't just go watch something.

Beyond that, they're just as easy.

Until the fix that, they're a no-go.

Hulu is a bigger competitor to Netflix than Amazon as a result.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: No streaming?
by btrimby on Mon 25th Aug 2014 22:13 UTC in reply to "RE: No streaming?"
btrimby Member since:
2009-09-30

That might be the case, as I don't use it. Hulu has ads even if you pay. I already deal with that for cable; no thanks.

Reply Score: 7

RE[3]: No streaming?
by bassbeast on Tue 26th Aug 2014 10:19 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: No streaming?"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

And that kind of crap is why all those video pirate sites hosted in Idontcareistan are growing like mad.

Its the classic "So I wanted to watch GoT" cartoon made real, none of them have ALL the stuff you want, they all have gotchas like ads, not working if you cross a border,limited device support etc, meanwhile yet again the pirate version is better in every way. You can stream or download, works when you cross borders, has better content selection, plays anywhere that flash does. its like these media companies are soooo damned greedy and backstabby they would rather lose customers than give up their playing monopoly with the content. I don't know how many customers have told me "hey have you heard of (insert pirate video site)" after they went down the whole Netflix/Amazon/Hulu route and ended up frustrated.

As for TFA? I hope you don't really need that Thom, because what with Amazon being sued for outright scamming with the whole Amazon Prime debacle (turned out paying all the money for prime just gave you higher prices as those without prime got lower prices than the "free shipping" prime members) and their trying to push their devices and video services i don't trust Amazon not to completely screw twitch up trying to push their other stuff. As was noted Amazon doesn't have anywhere close to worldwide support and while I think Google is quickly turning into MSFT 2.0 they do tend to leave the popular acquisitions alone, see YouTube.

BTW for those that do use twitch and have AMD GPUs you might want to try "AMD Gaming Evolved" (Raptr) that comes as an option with the latest GPU drivers as it'll let you run Twitch on the hardware video encode/decode built into the GPU so you can run Twitch without the hit to the framerate it would normally incur. Only works if you have the new GCN chips though since its using the GCN GP-GPU features but I gave it a spin and didn't see any real hit to the framerate and I'm running a lowly HD7750, its pretty slick.

Reply Score: 5

RE: No streaming?
by linux-lover on Mon 25th Aug 2014 22:46 UTC in reply to "No streaming?"
linux-lover Member since:
2011-04-25


Amazon is the main competitor to Netflix in the US.


And nowhere else.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: No streaming?
by REM2000 on Tue 26th Aug 2014 07:47 UTC in reply to "RE: No streaming?"
REM2000 Member since:
2006-07-25

Amazon is pretty big in the UK in part thanks to it's buy out of LoveFilm.

You'll find the Amazon/LoveFilm app on all uk devices that can stream.

As for the story itself, i agree because of youtube's experience it does seem the way forward however as other have mentioned amazon does have the experience and the backbone to be able to handle it also.

Edited 2014-08-26 07:48 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: No streaming?
by zima on Tue 26th Aug 2014 22:37 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: No streaming?"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

LoveFilm? That suggests certain genres... ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: No streaming?
by kwan_e on Tue 26th Aug 2014 00:35 UTC in reply to "No streaming?"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

Did you just say amazon has no experience in streaming and video?


It has no experience in turning over a profit.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: No streaming?
by jgagnon on Tue 26th Aug 2014 13:59 UTC in reply to "RE: No streaming?"
jgagnon Member since:
2008-06-24

I have to laugh every time I read a comment like this. Amazon makes tons of money. They just reinvest nearly all of it back into streamlining their business to make it more efficient and grow their infrastructure. On the books that looks like they're not making money but they most certainly are.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: No streaming?
by kwan_e on Tue 26th Aug 2014 16:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: No streaming?"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

I have to laugh every time I read a comment like this. Amazon makes tons of money.


You have to laugh every time you read a fact? You must be the most happiest person on Earth.

You seem to be mistaking profit for revenue. They're not the same. Amazon is making revenue. No one disputes that.

You have to ask how long can they keep this up. And once they start to want to turn over profits, would they keep all that they've bought, or would they let some die?

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: No streaming?
by jgagnon on Tue 26th Aug 2014 17:01 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: No streaming?"
jgagnon Member since:
2008-06-24

You make it sound like they are losing money or at least not "profitable", which is false. It's a numbers game no matter how you look at it. They're not teetering on the edge of bankruptcy or default. They CHOOSE to invest what would be their profits back into the company for the future instead of padding their bottom line for the here and now.

If they suddenly stopped investing their "would be profit" back into the company then they would show heaps of "real profit". Again, it's a numbers game. Label the lines however you wish, hate them or their practices however you wish, but in the end Amazon is doing amazingly well regardless of the number in the "profit" line on the spreadsheet.

A small business can show no profit in much the same way, avoiding taxes and gaining other benefits. There are plenty of legal ways to make it look like your company is not making money even though you're having a record year. Amazon is very skilled at this game.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: No streaming?
by kwan_e on Tue 26th Aug 2014 23:15 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: No streaming?"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

There are plenty of legal ways to make it look like your company is not making money even though you're having a record year. Amazon is very skilled at this game.


All it takes is one misstep and the game is up.

Reply Score: 4

I disagree regarding Google
by linux-lover on Mon 25th Aug 2014 22:59 UTC
linux-lover
Member since:
2011-04-25

I don't think Google acquiring Twitch would in any way be preferable to Amazon. Youtube has a near monopoly on internet video as it is and anything that is in serious competition with it is good for everyone. Indeed, it seems even Google was aware of this because according to Forbes they backed out due to antitrust concerns.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/ryanmac/2014/08/25/amazon-pounces-on-tw...

Reply Score: 3

Amazon nothing bad to say
by sirhalos on Tue 26th Aug 2014 03:11 UTC
sirhalos
Member since:
2007-04-04

Unlike Google or other big companies, there isn't a lot of bad press about them. Amazon is known as having relative good customer service not just for their selling consumer products, but also their corporate offerings.

I have recently switched from Netflix to Amazon. There is Amazon stuff that does cost money, but it is easy to see just Prime offerings once you have a Prime account since it will give you a big icon that says Prime at the top right hand corner. You will only see none Prime items when you do a search and still you can click Prime Only to see none pay offerings. The biggest complaint I will have is just that the user experience is horrible. It's hard to see what you have watched, what is in your queue, if there is a new episode, etc. So far Hulu has been the best user experience for me... but of course you have those stupid commercials.

As for internationally, yes Amazon Prime hasn't been around internationally, but they do have experience selling consumer products and corporate offerings outside the US, therefore I imagine they will have no problem making the transition. These types of video items are different than items that require a lot of hoops to go through with media corporations just to show them.

Amazon Prime videos can be shown in either Silverlight (which they prefer for speed or so they say, but my testing has been mixed) or Flash.

Reply Score: 3

What aspect worries you?
by StuS on Tue 26th Aug 2014 03:18 UTC
StuS
Member since:
2012-12-01

Is it organizational or technical?
I could see how you might be worried about the organizational...

But Amazon had a decent track record, as far as I know, with the companies it has bought... audible, zappos, etc. Doesn't seem to corrupt them or send them down the tubes. They are good about sticking to the long-term, and not abandoning ideas that don't turn an immediate profit.

Technically, though, I can't see how you could be very worried. There are a lot of start-ups hosted on Amazon's infrastructure, doing all kinds of stuff, including this one little startup doing streaming video, you may have heard of them - Netflix ? ;)

http://cloudtimes.org/2012/12/20/netflix-aws-2013/

Reply Score: 3

Comment by nagerst
by nagerst on Tue 26th Aug 2014 05:19 UTC
nagerst
Member since:
2013-11-07

Amazon has one of the largest processing farms for hire and huge bandwidth. They are also less likely to screw up twitch than google is, like they did with youtube.

I prefer amazon overall a whole lot more than google.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by nagerst
by sithlord2 on Tue 26th Aug 2014 08:09 UTC in reply to "Comment by nagerst"
sithlord2 Member since:
2009-04-02

I agree. Amazon has already quite a few big customers who run RTMP servers on their cloud platform (younow.com for example, who run WowZa streaming server on EC2 instances).

I don't see why Google would be a better choice.

Reply Score: 3

Maybe the problem is in the past
by protomank on Tue 26th Aug 2014 10:37 UTC
protomank
Member since:
2006-08-03

Google bought a lot of companies just to kill them off and erase their product from earth's surface, it is a really bad record. They want the people that work on that aquisition, not the product, and also to remove a competitor.

A company owner that is not looking to fill his pockets with money probally won't go the Google way and risk being one more in this list.

Edited 2014-08-26 10:37 UTC

Reply Score: 3

So glad it's not Google
by andrewclunn on Tue 26th Aug 2014 17:52 UTC
andrewclunn
Member since:
2012-11-05

We NEED competition in the personal upload video space. YouTube be damned with their horrendous censorship policies!

Reply Score: 3

RE: So glad it's not Google
by zima on Tue 26th Aug 2014 22:40 UTC in reply to "So glad it's not Google"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

So... what is Twitch good about? (or, for that matter, what is Twitch about? ;) )

Reply Score: 2

It's ok
by ichi on Tue 26th Aug 2014 22:32 UTC
ichi
Member since:
2007-03-06

Youtube doesn't need Twitch. While I see the point on merging both services, they could build their own gaming streaming service if they wanted.

Go and compete on features instead of buying Twitch's users along with the service.

It's also a plus that, not being Google who finally bought the service, it also wasn't any of the companies behind the biggest gaming platforms.

Reply Score: 3