The votes are in, and even though Inc. magazine has declared room-sharing platform Airbnb its 2014 Company of the Year, readers prefer giving the crown to video-streaming platform Twitch

With a whopping 88 percent of the vote, the San Francisco-based company bested fierce competitors, including Airbnb, Nasty Gal, Uber, and Vice Media. 

While the exact reasons why readers favor the video-gaming powerhouse are unknown, one commentator had this to say: 

"This is a PERFECT example of creating your niche, in a way that I rarely see within business. I've been creating startups and new businesses for myself for decades, and I can tell you firsthand how difficult it is to not only find an idea that's truly original, but one that hits with customers in creating its own market. I love this concept, and am excited to see how it develops over time."

The company's business arc has also been impressive. In just three years' time, Twitch has revolutionized how people engage with video games--namely, they don't just play them anymore. Now, they also watch others play them. It's such a craze that 60 million unique visitors tune into the site each month. It was only a matter of time before the young company would hook the attention of potential buyers.

In August, Amazon acquired the company for $1.1 billion. According to previous coverage on Inc.com, Twitch now accounts for more Internet traffic in the U.S. than the popular online streaming service HBO GO. For more about the company and its breakout success, read "How Giving Gamers the Controls Unleashed One Massive Audience." 

Published on: Dec 1, 2014