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Amazon to pay US$1bn for gaming site Twitch

Amazon is buying the videogame platform Twitch for US$1 billion (S$1.25 billion), bringing it access to millions of people who watch games being played on the site, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday (Aug 25).

NEW YORK: Amazon is buying the videogame platform Twitch for US$1 billion (S$1.25 billion), bringing it access to millions of people who watch games being played on the site, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday (Aug 25).

The Journal said the deal is very close to being announced, and would put an end to talks between Google and Twitch, recently reported to be hovering as well around a US$1 billion (S$1.25 billion) price tag.

The three-year-old, San Francisco-based Twitch streams games being played for non-playing viewers to watch, and hosts gaming events.

It allows viewers to chat with the players and others, lending it some of the qualities of social networking websites, and it sells advertising to generate income.

The company claims 55 million visitors a month to its website, via desktop computers, tablets and smartphones, and more than one million "broadcasters," gamers who stream video of their games over the Internet via Twitch.

It also says that visitors log in long periods on the website, averaging 106 minutes a day per person, putting it in the leagues of streaming video like Netflix.

That would support Amazon in its fight to capture a large share of the streaming audience market. The online retailing giant is already pressing hard to add users of its streaming movie service, hoping to overtake Netflix.