Update [8 PM CST]: In a statement to IGN, Emmett Shear, CEO of Twitch has made it clear that the service will remain the same for the foreseeable future. Here is what follows from IGN‘s article:
“…the streaming service will remain the same in the “short term” and that the service’s recent audio recognition policy updates had nothing to do with the deal.
“Amazon was just as surprised as the community by that [change]” Shear said in a Twitch Town Hall stream. “We maybe made some mistakes on the release, but it is certainly something that had to be done for the sake of the community and for the long-term success of the platform. It was totally independent of this transaction. Amazon didn’t even know about it.”
Check out the full story on IGN for full details.
This is great news to me. I had my doubts, as I voiced at the bottom of the original story which follows below.
Original Story: It hasn’t been more than a month since Twitch and Google sealed their $1 billion deal, reported by VentureBeat, and it turns out the website has now been sold to Amazon, the entertainment and distribution giant.
Confirmed only hours ago in yet another Twitch Blog post, the streaming mega-site was now sold to Amazon for nearly the same price that Google supposedly purchased it for, according to the Wall Street Journal. Emmett Shear, CEO for the site had this to say in his post:
“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.”
It is unclear if the deal between Twitch and Google was broken off, was never followed through with, or never reached the final stages. What is known is that only three weeks ago Twitch announced and implemented a series of changes that was met with terrible reception by the community. The changes were similar to a YouTube system which has been complained about for years now; when it arbitrarily removes videos for “copyright claims” where it leaves other, very similar videos alone.
Twitch is at the apex of online streaming services, and is likely the largest reason they find themselves in a position to be acquired by a company that can open even larger doors for it. Hopefully, they’ll find what they are looking for in Amazon, that they apparently couldn’t find with Google.
Uh? This is a little odd. The rumors of Google’s acquisition of Twitch swirled for months before word surfaced that they had reached a deal. Then, as many suspected, they implemented the changes that would be associated with YouTube. Now they’re with Amazon? Another large company that seems to take copyright law and legal agreements very seriously? Personally, I cannot see how this will benefit the broadcasting titan as they are fueled by users who often air copyrighted content without knowing it. Hopefully the partners will know better than to use automated software in resolving copyright disputes. In fact, it might be a great start to make it clear that they would avoid such a method at all costs.
Scott Deisner is an Associate Writer for MONG. He enjoys story and character driven content above all else, things made from potatoes, and long walks on sandy beaches ;P You can follow him on Twitter.