news\ Aug 26, 2014 at 9:00 pm

Amazon explains why it bought Twitch


Yesterday’s news of Amazon’s deal to purchase Twitch for $970 million poured cold water on preceding rumors of Google ponying up $1 billion for the streaming forerunner, but failed to detail the e-tailer giant’s intentions. A new Time interview with Twitch CEO Emmett Shear and Amazon Games VP Mike Frazzini has shed some much-needed light on the deal.

“Talking to [Mike Frazzini, VP of Amazon Games] along the way, it really became clear that we have a shared vision for the gaming industry,” Shear said. “We see the same trends in the same space. And it’s also their culture.

“Amazon thinks about problems and solving those problems in the same way we do at Twitch. They think about how you can build things for customers, and how to do that in the long run,” he added, echoing the sentiments expressed in a previous message sent to the Twitch community.

Amazon’s commitment to Twitch’s continued self-management proved integral as well, Shear added, which was bolstered by “access to all of these resources and products that Amazon has that’ll let us do all of that better and faster.”

Mike Frazzini simply approaches the exchange through “the lens of the customer experience.” He describes Amazon’s driving motivation as catering to the consumer, and developing the company’s media presence. Games were the obvious next step.

“I think it’s fairly safe to say at this point that on anything with a screen, games are the number one or two activity,” said Frazzini. “Obviously if we’re going to be in the devices business, we have to be thinking hard about games. And at the center of that is the customer experience, which is what’s so interesting about Twitch for us.

“Twitch has that same point of view. They think long term. They think a lot about invention.”


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Austin Wood Austin Wood started working as a writer when he was just 18, and realized he was doing a terrible job at just 20. Several years later, he's confident he's doing a significantly less terrible job. You can connect with him on Twitter @austinwoodmedia.
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