Modern History: Background of Twitch.tv

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Twitch.tv first started out as Justin.tv 2011 Founded by co-founders Emmett Shear and Justin Kan. The site had several categories but the gaming content on Justin.tv grew especially fast and eventually became the most popular content on the site. Due to this, they started kicking around an idea of building a website specifically around streaming video game matches, the company decided to spin off the gaming content as twitch.tv which launched officially on June 6th of 2011. Twitch is a live video streaming platform for gamers. More than 55 million gather monthly to watch, broadcast and discuss video games making it the world’s leading gamer video platform. It now forms the backbone of live and on demand distribution for the gaming industry. Justin.tv’s parent company was re-branded as Twitch Interactive and Justin.tv was eventually shut down in August 2014.

Since inception, Twitch has received significant investments of venture capital, Justin.tv had raised $7 million by the time of re-branding after which twitch.tv has gone on to raise an additional $15 million and $20 million in 2012 and 2013 respectively. “The investments from Thrive Capital, West Summit Capital, and Take-Two Interactive, ensures we can more effectively grow and tap into new markets,” said Kevin Lin, COO of Twitch.

Twitch now has a near monopoly in the market making it the most popular e-sports streaming service. Its popularity would eclipse that of its counterparts by mid-2013. During peak periods in the U.S for example, Twitch makes up 1.8% of the total US Internet traffic coming in fourth behind Google, Netflix and Apple.

Twitch has been reworking some of its partnerships recently as it aligns itself with pro-gamer associations and Game Spot – A gaming journalism hub in partnership with CBS The funding will be used to upgrade the infrastructure as the Xbox Live and PS4 next-gen consoles ship out next month and also to expand the ad sales group.

According to President of Marketing Matthew DiPietro; the stream, is an example of how video games have become a platform for entertainment and creativity that extends way beyond the original intent of the game creator. By merging a video game, live video and a participatory experience, the broadcaster has created an entertainment hybrid custom made for the Twitch community.

Twitch is currently working on integrating streaming directly into games. They have collaborated with Paradox Interactive; the Showdown Effect will have a one click broadcast into Twitch enabling you to play a game on your PC and stream directly to your twitch channel just by clicking Broadcast. They hope to have the feature become a standard piece of game publishing to make it easier for anyone to share their gaming experience.

On May 18, 2014 it was reported that Google had made an offer to acquire Twitch for approximately $1 billion. A preliminary deal was reported to have been reached. After months of media speculation Twitch announced In August 2014 that Amazon would acquire it for $970 million.

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