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Amazon’s Twitch Gaming Channel Is Exaggerating Its Popularity

Comparatively few people follow the Crown channel or participate in its chats—suggesting they aren’t engaging with the programming. 



Photographer: SOPA Images/LightRocket

When Inc. launched the Crown Channel on its livestreaming platform Twitch in 2019, the e-commerce giant was looking to flex its entertainment chops in the buzzy world of video games—an arena the company had been trying to break into for years. Resembling a traditional television network, Crown offers a range of ad-supported original programming, including “Screen Invaders!,” a show about mobile gaming.

Amazon says Crown is among Twitch’s top 10 entertainment channels, luring tens of thousands of viewers—a feat typically equaled only by Twitch’s top personalities—and is attracting such big-name advertisers as chipmaker Intel Corp. and insurer Progressive Corp. But a Bloomberg analysis of Crown audience metrics shows the channel isn’t as popular as Amazon says it is. That has potential implications for brands, which according to internal documents, may have paid anywhere from $150,000 to $500,000-plus to promote themselves on the channel.