Variety is reporting that YouTube will buy Twitch, the world’s leader in video-game streaming, for $1 Billion dollars in an all cash deal. This deal would be the most significant acquisition in the history of YouTube, which is a subsidiary of Google. The way Variety reports that it is YouTube purchasing Twitch, and not Google, suggests that Twitch would either then be absorbed by YouTube, or become a subsidiary of the site.
Variety reports the deal will be officially announced very soon, but there are conflicting reports about this deal. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that deal is still at an “early stage” and no deal is imminent. Twitch’s board of directors is also reportedly looking into raising additional capital funding instead of selling the company. YouTube is expecting a tough grilling from the justice department if this deal does go through however. The deal would likely be seen as anti-competitive as both services are number one in what they do.
The move is likely due to the fact that Google and Youtube have fallen radically behind in live-streaming services. While YouTube has it’s own live streaming services, it is far behind that of Twitch, which accounted for nearly 44% US Live Stream traffic in April, beating sites like Ustream, ESPN, and the WWE Network. Twitch is also in the top five entertainment streaming sites in the world, putting it among other sites like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu.
Google, YouTube, or Twitch have yet to publicly comment on any of the reports, but we will update you as soon as any of the companies give an official announcement on the deal.
This reporters opinion: I do not like this deal one bit. Twitch is a great site as it is right now, and YouTube taking it over feels incredibly anti-competitive and anti-consumer. Youtube has recently become incredibly anti-gmaing friendly as well, with it’s new ContentID system wreaking havoc on thousands of gaming channels. Can you imagine if Google then implemented the ContentID service live on Twitch channels? Thousands of channels would again be wreaked havoc with for completely silly reasons. While this does feel like gaming, and E-sports especially, are being validated by this massive deal, it seems like it will hurt the game streaming world more then it would help it.
by, Bobby Marquardt