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September 9, 2014

​Twitch’s CEO sees Amazon integration as an opportunity, not an obligation

by John_A

When Amazon purchased Twitch for almost $1 billion, the question burbled to the top of everyone’s mind: which Amazon service will invade the platform first? The idea hangs with minor dread, a concern that a corporate agenda will ruin what customers have come to love about the game streaming service. Twitch CEO Emmett Shear isn’t worried, however. He’s been adamant Twitch sold to Amazon because it promised autonomy. “Our attitude towards it is not that this transaction happened, therefore we have to do integrations,” he explained at TechCrunch Disrupt. “It’s that now we have the opportunity.” Amazon, he explains, offers Twitch new resources for security, licensing and marketing — but says that Twitch will only integrate Amazon services that benefit the consumer.

So, what would be a good Amazon experience for the Twitch consumer? The CEO has some ideas. “What might be a good experience is watching this game on Twitch,” he imagines, “with a way you can buy it right now at a 20 percent discount. That sounds like something our broadcasters would want to offer and our viewers might like it.” Incentive-based Twitch viewing is just one idea, however, and Shear says it’s not something either Twitch or Amazon will force on broadcasters or viewers.

Shear says Twitch is exploring less consumer-facing integrations too — specifically citing issues with content licensing. “We can put our music licensing team with their music licensing team and see if they can interact. We have an opportunity to see if that makes sense or not.” Still, he’s choosing his words carefully: an opportunity, he says again, not an obligation.

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