VIDEO: Amazon Thinks You Want to Watch Other People Play Video Games


Amazon is gambling that you will enjoy watching others play video games as much as you enjoy playing them yourself. Putting their money where their mouth is, the online retail and content juggernaut just paid $1 billion for Twitch, an online video-streaming site that specializes in live-streaming people playing video games. There is some proof that Amazon hasn't completely lost its mind, because Twitch, at peak times, draws more viewers than MTV does, with about 55 million unique viewers a month.

In this brief — yet lively — video, our experts discuss whether or not Amazon is off its rocker.

What about you, readers? Is Amazon bonkers, or is it at the forefront of a new trend? Tell us in the comments below!

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Dan Leadbetter
Contributing Writer

Dan Leadbetter was a Staff and Features Writer for DealNews. He enjoys comedy, playing drums, watching horror films, fine cigars, and Absinthe.
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just change video game to anything else, then you get the idea...

Do you watch sport? Is it fun to watch other people running on the ground?

Do you watch cooking channel? Is it fun to watch other people cooking on TV?

Do you watch travel channel? Is it fun to watch other people traveling on TV?

video games are no different than sports... heck they are called e-sports now. there are pro players, leagues competitive, money involved and huge communities are supporting them..

people watch other people playing games just like people watch other people playing football, basketball and other sports.
michael bonebright (DealNews)
I've watched a few Twitch streams (although I prefer the Let's Play videos on YouTube personally). I, too, tend to watch the sorts of games I wouldn't play on my own, like super-niche indie games and survival horror. It's entertainment, and like dornl mentioned, it's interactive. I really hope Amazon doesn't mess with the model, because it works and it's fun.
I stream on twitch and average around 100 viewers each time I play. Some of the top people on twitch average 2000-5000 viewers. When I ask why they are watching instead of playing the game the main reason I get is they would rather watch twitch than tv. Twitch is interactive...they chat with the streamer and the other viewers. Streamers can set up their channel with polls, betting, giveaways, music playlists, and much more. Think of twitch of much more than just "watching someone play video games". Also, some of the streamers are really in they could be tv or radio show hosts. Check it out some time, I think you'll be surprised.
Wish I had a Billon Dollars!!!!
I think Google would have been a better company to sell it to. This sort of reminds me of the Oculus RIFT VR being sold to Facebook, would have preferred it was purchased by any other company.
While I don't usually watch Twitch - it is a power move by amazon. What better way to get people to buy games then to show people playing them? I know friends who watch twitch for hours at a time while they do other things. For those of us who don't have time to play video games, sometimes watching them is the next best thing.
I'm an older avid arcade style gamer and miss the arcade games of old that have fallen through the cracks with licensing and rights and what not. Like hearing the Pengo music I was used to on a home console, or arcade versions of old Exidy arcade games like Venture. Or Midway/Atari games like Indiana- Temple of Doom, or The Real Ghostbusters. Pooyan with it's original tune, or games like Return of Death Adder that Sega refuses to bring to ANY home console. I'll check stuff out on You Tube on more than a few occassions. Or if I don't want to mess with hooking up the Sega CD I could watch someone play the ending to Popful Mail or one of the original Lunar games before they were updated. The games have changed over the years, or we can't play them at all, like CapCom's Willow of instance. We're not talking about Space Invaders... or the antiquated 2600 games, but games that were more memorable than that. But to PAY to see live streaming of a current game, that's another story.