The online video streaming outfit, Twitch, has entered the online merchandise business, selling branded t-shirts, glasses, and pillows on their parent site Amazon.
Twitch is a brilliant company.
Amazon acquired it for close to a billion bucks for that reason.
But would you want to walk around wearing a Twitch t-shirt, drink from a Twitch glass, or sleep on a Twitch pillow?
All of those things are possible after the live streaming video platform opened their first-ever online merchandise shop. Of course, their parent company Amazon will provide the shopping space.
Jennifer Dabnor, director of private label and licensing for Twitch, said they wanted to help people to show off their “Twitch pride.” And there are a lot of people. Market research outfit, Newzoo, reported last year that more than 100 million people watched more than 800 million hours of live stream video game and poker action in a ten-month timespan. 2.2 million live streamers are using Twitch as their platform of choice.
Twitch has changed the poker landscape.
Stars like Jason Somerville, Parker Talbot, and Jaime Staples have shown prospective poker players that the way to an online poker room’s heart is not to shower them with titles, but to turn up beneath the balcony with a tribe of players all willing to follow you to your online felt of choosing.
In many ways, Twitch has made poker players stronger than online poker rooms. Recently, Doug Polk, who has amassed a loyal following via streams on Twitch and YouTube decided not to join 888Poker in an ambassadorial role, preferring to retain his personal brand in a move that will become more prevalent in the future.
Twitch has also enabled poker fans to view more poker coverage than ever before. Not only do the fans get to see their heroes playing online on a daily basis, but the largest poker tournament operators in the world all stream their footage via Twitch.
But whether that means those fans will be asking Santa for Twitch t-shirts, hoodies, and pillows is another matter entirely.
It’s not the first time that Amazon has stepped in to help their baby. Last year, they launched Twitch Prime giving users the opportunity to get their hands on a bunch of gaming deals, ad-free Twitch experiences, and free monthly subscriptions.
I have a love/hate relationship with Amazon. I buy most of my things from the store because they stock most things, but I am not a fan of how they use cheap parlour tricks to get you to sign up for Amazon Prime.
But I wouldn’t steal from them in retaliation.
On Monday, Erin Joseph Finan, 38, and Leah Jeanette Finan, 37, pleaded guilty to mail fraud and money laundering at a US District Court in Indianapolis in a case brought about by Amazon.
The couple had earned $1,218,504 buying electrical goods from the online giant before claiming they were faulty. Amazon would send them a revised item, without asking for the old units to be returned. The pair would then sell them on for what you can see is a considerable profit.
Sentencing begins Nov 9 where the couple can receive upwards of a 20-year jail sentence and $500 fine (a slight difference in severity of penalty in my opinion).
They will also have to pay $1,218,504 in restitution.
And Amazon will need that money.
On Wednesday, Margrethe Vestager of the European Union (EU) commission will try to pick apart a 2003 tax ruling that underpins Amazon’s European business.
The bone of contention seems to be a less than stellar tax agreement between Amazon and Luxembourg that may result in the online retail giant paying hundreds of millions of euros in back taxes.
The move comes on the back of other deep dives into the taxation of the world’s largest corporations including StarBucks, McDonald’s, and a €13 billion tax bill for Apple.
They had better hope that Twitch sells some t-shirts and quick.