If you’re looking for a Twitch stock ticker symbol, you’re out of luck. There isn’t one. However, Twitch is owned by Amazon. As a result, if you own Amazon stock, then you have a little piece of the Twitch pie. They’re on of the most popular online gaming streaming services out there. And we know how much people love their video games. So you can hope on and stream, chat, and play video games with people all over the world.
Twitch is an American video streaming service that allows users to watch content creators post live and pre-recorded videos. The main focus of Twitch is live streams of gamers playing video games.
But the service has expanded to include things like music, cosmetics, cooking, various other types of creator content, and even livestreams. Which allow viewers to watch people undertake mundane daily activities (more on this later). The heart and soul of Twitch still revolves around video games though. The platform has grown to include live streams of eSports competitions and other content uploaded by professional gamers.
On the platform users can interact with each other as well as with the streamer themselves through the chat room. Some channels have a lot more audience participation. However, some streamers simply show themselves playing games and don’t really interact with their viewers.
Twitch was started back in 2011 by Justin Kan, an American tech innovator and investor that’s been involved in numerous different startups and venture capital investing. Twitch was a continuation of his previous experiment Justin.TV. This was a website dedicated to following Justin around in his life with a webcam attached to his head.
Justin.TV was shut down in August of 2014, the very same month that Twitch was acquired by a little company called Amazon (NASDAQ: $AMZN) for just under $1 billion. So what does that mean for Twitch stock?
Can I Buy Twitch Stock?
As of today, no you can’t buy Twitch stock. In the same way that Instagram and WhatsApp are subsidiaries of Facebook (NASDAQ: $FB) and Minecraft and LinkedIn are owned by Microsoft (NASDAQ: $MSFT), Twitch remains a major part of Amazon’s ecosystem. If you really want to invest in Twitch, you’ll have to settle for buying Amazon shares as of now.
But who knows? There’s increased pressure mounting around the world to break up big tech companies into their separate companies. Perhaps one day we’ll see Amazon spin off Twitch. Until that day comes, there isn’t really any way you can invest in Twitch without investing in Amazon.
What’s the Point of Twitch?
Is Twitch just a live streaming version of YouTube? Yes and no. Twitch is set up so that the streamers can actually build up their audience and followers to become an official Twitch Affiliate or Twitch Partners.
At Twitch, everyone starts off as a streamer. You or I could start a channel. We’d need people to watch it to make money. So the first step for any streamer is to build their community by streaming as often as they can and somehow getting people to watch.
Twitch Affiliate: Once you are able to reach a minimum of 50 followers, broadcast for eight hours in the past thirty days, and average at least three different viewers per stream for three concurrent streams, then you qualify to become a Twitch Affiliate. At this level, viewers and followers can pay you Bits, which is basically the currency of Twitch that streamers can cash in for real money. One bit is the equivalent of $0.01, so obviously the more you stream, the more you have the opportunity to ask your viewers for more Bits. Twitch Affiliates can ask for donations, be paid to promote upcoming games or products, and even be paid for the number of subscribers you get. It is a little bit different from being a content creator on YouTube, where most of your income comes from ad revenues.
Twitch Partner: Once you reach partner status, you have truly made it as a content creator. You must have streamed for 25 or more hours in the last thirty days, streamed in twelve unique days out of the last 30 days, and averaged at least 75 viewers per stream. Twitch Partners get to earn monthly subscriptions, become a verified channel, and have lockable chats that are only open to your subscribers.
Does Twitch Make Money?
So that’s it, the point of Twitch is of course to make money. Amazon charges monthly subscription rates for streamers:
- Tier 1 is $4.99
- And Tier 2 is $9.99
- Tier 3 is $24.99
The main differences are no advertisements during streams, and users get Sub emotes with the higher tiers. But other than that, anyone can watch a Twitch stream for free if they wanted to, subscribers get some of the added benefits, but really the subscription money goes to support your favorite streamer. Needless to say, there are not usually a lot of TIer 2 or Tier 3 subscribers, compared to Tier 1.
Is Twitch a Public Company?
Twitch isn’t a publicly traded company. As a result, you can’t buy Twitch stocks. But if you really want to trade the company that currently owns them, Amazon is the way to go. Now you might look at the price of Amazon and think, NOPE! But you can trade it with options. If you don’t know the options basics, you’re in luck. we can teach you how to trade them. As a result, you can trade Amazon without spending hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Does Twitch Have Any Competition?
People are streaming multiple hours of content per day in 2021. Especially the key demographics of millennials and GenZ. Twitch isn’t the only game in town. But when it comes to games, it still reigns supreme. With that being said, there’s plenty of similar services that users can use for gaming or any other live streaming opportunities!
YouTube: The king of streaming. There may be nothing that can ever compare to how dominant of a platform YouTube is. In 2020, YouTube made $20 billion in revenue for Alphabet (NASDAQ: $GOOGL). And over 2.3 billion people access the site at least once per month. Content creators on YouTube make most of their revenues off of ads as well as payments for a certain number of views. YouTube live streaming is available as well,. Although the experience isn’t quite as interactive as with Twitch. If YouTube ever figures out how to match what Twitch does, the gaming platform could be in trouble.
Discord: A few months ago we wrote about Discord and the possibility of Microsoft acquiring the platform. Discord isn’t exactly like Twitch because their main focus of the platform is on chat channels. However, there’s the ability to have video streams if you join or host a voice channel. The experience is nowhere near as robust as on Twitch. But given that Discord was created for the gaming industry, would it come as much of a surprise if it introduced the ability to livestream games in the future? The deal with Microsoft fell through and rumors are that Discord is wanting to go public via its own IPO.
Netflix (NASDAQ: $NFLX): Netflix recently announced that it was planning to get into the gaming business. And while exact plans have yet to be unveiled, wouldn’t it be the perfect platform to include some sort of live stream for games? With access to over 200 million subscribers in almost 200 countries around the world, Netflix could be a competitor that nobody saw coming a few years ago.
OnlyFans: Wait? Isn’t OnlyFans an adult site? Well not entirely, but sex workers and adult entertainment content creators is what the site is best known for. The platform already has the capability of doing live streams as well as signing up subscribers. In fact, there are already several OnlyFans stars that do a portion of their work playing video games. It may not overtake Twitch, but OnlyFans with adult themed gaming streams could lure away some of the male dominant audience on Twitch.
What Does the Future Hold for Twitch Stock?
The video game and eSports industries are growing at a rapid pace as professional gaming hits the mainstream. Some reports anticipate that in 2021 nearly 500 million people will tune in or attend an eSports event live around the world. Amazon has done well to package Twitch memberships in with Amazon Prime subscriptions. So they may not want a Twitch stock.
In fact, the company has over 200 million global subscribers. Content creation and the gig economy have evolved much faster than expected due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Younger generations are finding more freedom in creating their own content rather than working a traditional 9 to 5 job. And platforms like Twitch reward them for it.
As of now, you cannot buy Twitch stock. However, you can certainly enjoy the content that people stream on the platform for free. Twitch has enough of a brand name presence and industry moat that there probably isn’t one platform that can overtake it. Especially when it comes to streaming video games.
But where there’s success there are always imitators. Companies like YouTube and Netflix certainly have the capital and user base to at the very least limit the upside for Twitch. The top Twitch streamer is the professional gamer Ninja who currently makes an estimated $500,000 to $800,000 per month on the platform.
Considering how inexpensive the subscription rates are for Twitch, it’s probably safe to say that the platform has an incredibly loyal fanbase. As video games and eSports continue to rise in popularity, so too should Twitch as the go to platform for gaming fans around the world.