Hollywood news site Variety reported yesterday that YouTube might be in talks to buy the popular videogame streaming service Twitch.tv. According to “sources close to the pact”, the cash-only deal could be worth in the region of $1 billion.
Twitch’s popularity has skyrocketed in the last year. It’s used by both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One to stream videogames live on the internet, and several large gaming competitions use it to broadcast their events to millions of viewers the world over.
Variety says “The company claims to have more than 45 million monthly users, with more than 1 million members who upload videos each month. It also has deals to distribute shows from partners including CBS Interactive’s GameSpot, Joystiq and Destructoid.” That’s a lot of content.
According to a report by Gamespot in February, the site generates so much traffic that at peak times in the US, it ranks at number four behind far bigger companies Google, Apple and Netflix.
YouTube is still the undisputed leader in the world of video-streaming services, serving up over 6 billion hours of video each month to a seventh of the world’s population. Since Google also owns YouTube, adding Twitch.tv to its video-streaming roster could be seen as anti-competitive by the US’s Justice Department, meaning quite a bit of scrutiny will likely happen before the rumoured deal goes through.
Neither Google nor Twitch.tv have commented on the rumours just yet.[Source – Variety.com]