Sign up to receive 5 free days of our daily summary for tech news.

Introducing our newly updated org charts. Browse our org charts on companies like Uber, Facebook, and Airbnb all in one place.

Read this article for free.

Already a subscriber? Log in here

Media Amazon Google

Building the ‘Comcast of Gaming’ at Amazon

Last week, 31-year-old Emmett Shear joined an exclusive club of tech startup founder/CEOs who agreed to sell their company for about $1 billion or more.

While his startup, the online video-game broadcaster Twitch, is just three years old, it had spun out of a different live-video site he helped launch in 2007. Twitch quickly became the preferred service for online video-game players to broadcast their games publicly and build an audience of followers.

At its peak, close to a million people watch broadcasts on Twitch at the same time, from “e-sports,” or competitions between professional Starcraft players, to Twitch Plays Pokemon, in which a role-playing game is controlled by the audience that’s viewing it on Twitch.

Mr. Shear earlier this year had agreed to sell the company to Google’s YouTube, but as The Information has reported, the $1 billion-plus deal fell apart amid questions over Twitch’s ability to operate as as it would like. was waiting in the wings.

Immediately after the acquisition was announced, Mr. Shear spoke on Twitch about possible integrations with the Amazon Prime subscription business, getting infrastructure help from Amazon Web Services, and using Amazon’s payment technology to bring on new subscribers in other parts of the world. But he is adamant that Twitch will maintain its independence.

In his first lengthy interview since the Amazon deal, Mr. Shear talked to The Information about why Amazon’s structure for subsidiaries is more appealing to him than YouTube’s, his interest in broadcasting non-game content and his effort to build the “Comcast of gaming.” An edited transcript is below.

What Is The Information?

Notebook b5103017ee163370a1667c9ce59ab0ef023875a17888105d26c185cadf31bb69

Daily news analysis

Every weeknight, we'll send you our reporters’ views on the day’s top tech news—distilled into one email.

Notes bb3aa5069205d702dda37fc71dc6f1c59df2310c4379304e9f1199f052af4884

Exclusive Articles

We broke it first. Receive original reporting, stories, and exclusives you won't read anywhere else from the largest newsroom in tech.

Conference calls c9e664e8b96ee347d3e92b8309938f268422b9db98cfabca5c826fbb75054b23

Conference calls

Go deep into areas like crypto and VC diversity—or get real-time analysis of breaking news—via conference calls with our reporters and other experts.

Events 499acedd16cffc41445edd76bfd302b2836c2a27419890f17130a6b10e2aa3df

Special Events

For no extra fee, subscribers get access to more than a dozen events yearly, from intimate dinners to larger gatherings with marquee speakers.

Access the best reporting on the tech industry read by tens of thousands of global executives.

Become a contributor

Share your views and find other subscribers by completing your profile. You’ll be listed in our contributor directory.

Org Charts

Access the only collection of tech company org charts. Our expanding database includes companies like Amazon, Snap, and Uber.

Slack community

Discuss topics and current events with our subscriber-only Slack group and share news about your company with other subscribers.

Share with your team

Subscribers can unlock any article and share it with friends and co-workers through a special share link.

Stay up to date on Silicon Valley

Sign up for Jessica Lessin’s (The Information’s CEO & Founder) free Saturday newsletter and also receive a complimentary week of our daily afternoon tech commentary email.

Already a subscriber? Log in here

Recent Articles

Asia Google Cloud

Google and Tencent Secretly Explore Cloud-Computing Cooperation

By Juro Osawa

Amazon Google Facebook Policy

10 Lawmakers Tech Should Watch

By Sarah Kuranda and Nick Wingfield

Amazon Cloud

AWS Renewable Energy Efforts Hit Speed Bumps

By Priya Anand