01.TwitchTube on the way?
YouTube is looking to acquire the world’s biggest video game-streaming site, Twitch, for more than $1 billion, according to reports.
Twitch lets anybody stream video game play over the internet in real time, backed by its own live commentary. The service is used for everything from sharing amateur footage or everyday users to huge game competitions.
It goes beyond just watching others play games, however. Along with this video feed and commentary, each Twitch stream has its own chatroom that others can join, effectively including a live and interactive worldwide audience to a user’s gameplay.
Since Twitch launched in 2011 it has grown to amass 45 million users every month. The potential acquisition strengthens the position of net giant Google, which already owns YouTube. The potential acquisition was first reported in Variety and later picked up independently by the Wall Street Journal.
So far, Twitch hasn’t confirmed or denied the reports. Their PR Director simply known as “Chase” responded on Twitter, tweeting: “For those asking about the story today, Twitch doesn't comment on rumours.” YouTube and Google are yet to comment.
Twitch is among the most popular websites in the world, with research showing it attracts the fourth-largest amount of network traffic during prime-time hours in the US. The study from Network infrastructure firm DeepField shows that during this period, Twitch sits behind Netflix, Google and Apple, while edging out Facebook and Amazon by a few hundred thousand. This is partially thanks to the launch of a Twitch app for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 (PS4), released towards the end of last year. Since then, around 20% of Twitch traffic comes from the PS4, according to VP of marketing Matt DiPietro (The Verge)
YouTube has had a long history with the games community, with many gamers using the service to upload gameplay footage with commentary. This category, known as “Let’s Play,” has a large online fan base – the most popular channel on YouTube offers such content to more than 26 million subscribers.
The channel, run by Felix Kjellberg aka PewDiePie, has amassed nearly 4.5 billion views.