YouTube may buy videogame streaming service

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Hollywood news site Variety reported yesterday that YouTube might be in talks to buy the popular videogame streaming service 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 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 have commented on the rumours just yet.

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Deon du Plessis

Deon du Plessis

Deon got his first taste of PC gaming at the tender age of 11 when his father bought an 8088 XT, ostensibly to "help him with his homework". Instead, it introduced him to Leisure Suit Larry, King Graham, Sonny Bonds and many more, and Deon has been a PC gamer and hardware enthusiast ever since. He landed his first professional writing gig in 2006 at a prestigious local PC magazine, a very happy happenstance as he got to write for a living about things he loves - tech, PCs, gaming, and everything in between. He's been writing about it all ever since, and loves every minute of it.