Recent news came out stating talks of Google Inc.’s YouTube’s plan of buying Twitch a video game streaming website that made headlines when they streamed a 1990s game, Pokemon Red/Blue. Twitchallows users to upload live video streams of them playing popular video games like League of Legends and Minecraft, among many others. More than showing fellow gamers how to beat the boss in level 4 or obtain an item, Twitch also has a social networking feature that enables users to interact with fans and fellow gamers during broadcasts. This turned the video game streaming website from a platform for just uploading games into a community of gamers that actively interact with each other for hours a day.
According to Variety, this is already a done deal as reported by their inside sources. The Wall Street Journal, however, states that it is still too early in the negotiation process to say that both parties have reached a $1 billion agreement. Google Inc. and Twitch remain silent about the rumors. Twitch Vice President, Matt DiPietro, did tell The Verge last year: “To be quite honest, we can't keep up with the growth. That’s a good problem to have.” Perhaps with Google Inc.’s resources, the challenges of expansion will no longer be a problem for Twitch if a deal is reached.
You might be wondering: Why is YouTube even interested in such a website? Who would watch someone else play video games for hours a day? Apparently, millions of people from all over the world do. From being just a channel in Justin.tv, the founders noticed that gaming is a hot channel in the parent website. This prompted them to dedicate an entire website for that one channel, which they called Twitch.tv. Since its launch in 2011, Twitch has gone nowhere but up as its popularity skyrocketed among video game enthusiasts from around the world. It has outdone popular live streaming websites like YouTube Live, ESPN, and NBC Sports.
To give you a better idea of the figures, it is said that Twitch receives at least 45 million visits each month and has raised over $35 million as an independent website–enough to catch Google Inc.’s attention since live streaming of video games is one of the most viewed subjects on YouTube. In fact, video game players who upload videos of themselves playing video games on YouTube have gained over a million followers over the years. Since advertisers run after websites that can give them the most exposure, a platform like Twitch with lots of traffic means tons of money on the web for an online video streaming giant like Google Inc.’s YouTube. Hence, purchasing a website like Twitch.tv is probably a deal Google Inc. will want to close.
What’s next for Twitch and Google Inc.? Live video game streaming enthusiasts will have to wait for Google Inc. and Twitch to announce the deal, perhaps this year. When this happens, gamers can expect Twitch.tv to expand its website and include more gamer-targeted advertisements.