Amazon To Buy Twitch For $1B-Plus: Reports

Amazon, not Google, is poised to acquire videogame live-streaming service for more than $1 billion, according to reports from both The Information and The Wall Street Journal.

Varietyfirst reported in May that Google’s YouTube was in talks to buy Twitch, a service that lets video gamers live stream their gameplay, for more than $1 billion. At the time, The Wall Street Journal also reported on those talks, but said they were at an early stage.

The WSJ said Monday that a deal between Amazon and Twitch could be announced as soon as Monday, noting talks between Google and Twitch “cooled in recent weeks.”

Amazon and Twitch were not immediately available for comment.

Update: Amazon announced Monday afternoon that it has struck a deal to acquire Twitch for $970 million in cash.

As for potential tie-ins with Twitch, Amazon sells video games via its online retail arm and has also been selling games (and developing its own) for its new Amazon Fire TV box, which doubles as a video streaming device and gaming platform.

Twitch, according to a recent report from bandwidth management firm Sandvine, was closing in on becoming a top ten streaming app in the U.S., accounting for 1.35% of traffic, outpacing HBO GO’s 1.24%. That’s still well behind Netflix, which accounted for 31.09% of aggregate traffic (upstream and downstream) on fixed access networks in North America.

But according to recent data from Qwilt, a company that makes “transparent” video caches and sells to MSOs such as Mediacom Communications, Twitch had locked up 43% of live streaming traffic in the U.S., well out in front of WWE (17.7%), Ustream (10.9%), (7.9%), and ESPN (6.3%).

The majority of Twitch content is free, though partners have the ability to sell subscriptions to their channels. At last check, Twitch claimed to have 1 million monthly “active broadcasters” and 45 million visitors per month. Twitch has raised $35 million  in funding so far.