Amazon opens Twitch to brands running campaigns through its ad platform

Amazon has finally added Twitch to its advertising orbit. After keeping the video site at arm’s length from the rest of its ad business, Amazon now says brands can tap into Twitch inventory through the same ad platform those brands use to run Amazon campaigns.

Twitch has its own ad sales structure, but now ad space will also flow through the Amazon Advertising platform. Amazon bought Twitch for nearly $1 billion in 2014.

Amazon quietly made the announcement in a blog post earlier this week. “Consumers have come to expect and highly-engaging branded content,” Amazon said in its announcement. “As more and more of our everyday experiences and interactions move online, brands need to work even harder just to keep up. To help brands meet these heightened expectations, and reach younger and highly-engaged consumers, we’re bringing together the best of Twitch and Amazon Advertising.”

Brands within Amazon’s ad platform can buy video and display ads on Twitch, and specifically target Twitch audiences with the campaigns, Amazon said.

Amazon has developed its automated ad platform to compete with Facebook and Google. Amazon also built a programmatic, self-serve style system. Brands use the platform to manage search advertising campaigns on; they run display ads on Amazon and off; and there is video advertising running to Fire TV and other third-party connected TV apps.

Amazon’s advertising revenue, which falls under the “other” category on its balance sheet, grew more than 40 percent in the first half of the year, topping $8 billion.

Twitch is fast becoming a crown jewel in the Amazon ecosystem, as it has seen streaming hours surge during the pandemic. It is the largest “live-streaming” site with 1.4 billion hours watched in July, an increase of 67 percent year-over-year, according to Bloomberg News.

Twitch is competing for talent, trying to attract the video game stars with the biggest followings on social media. There is a battle for such talent among Twitch, Facebook and YouTube. Earlier this week, Twitch announced that it reached a multiyear exclusive deal with Tyler Blevins, also known online as Ninja.

Blevins had been lured to Microsoft Mixer, which shut down. He returned to Twitch where he made his name.

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