Google’s video streaming service YouTube, is said to have reached a deal to buy Twitch, the most popular videogame streaming service. YouTube is said to have offered Twitch $1 billion as an all-cash offer even though both the companies have declined to comment on the deal. Google had acquired YouTube for around $1.65 billion in 2006.
Twitch is a San Francisco-based video streaming service that lets users upload and watch live gameplay videos for free. The videos can be streamed from Microsoft Xbox 360, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles.
Twitch is also reported to have received offers from Microsoft and other companies but preferred YouTube as its partner. If the Microsoft-Twitch deal had gone through, the software giant would most likely have made the service as an Xbox exclusive which could have harmed Twitch’s traffic from other consoles.
Despite not a well-known name except in gaming circles, Twitch is known to push more traffic than Facebook and Amazon in its peak hours. The company was launched in 2011 by Justin Kan and Emmett Shear who are the co-founders of Justin.tv. Shear is currently the CEO of the company. At the time of its foundation, the service raised about $35 million in funding from investors like Bessermer Venture partners, Alsop Louie Partners, WestSummit Capital, Take-Two Interactive Software, Thrive Capital and Draper Associates.
Even though Twitch is still available on Xbox, it will be interesting to see how YouTube deals with the Microsoft-owned platform as the two companies have had a bad relationship in recent times. Previously, Google had declined to develop a YouTube app for Windows and Windows Phone platform. Later, when Microsoft developed the app itself, Google revoked the developer API of that app.
Twitch is available on iOS and Android mobile platforms as an app as well. The service streams content in high definition and offers browsing option of the top streamers. Users can browse the service by game titles and also allows registered users to follow their favorite channels. On the PC, Twitch has been integrated into PC as a software as well (other than the in-browser support) through EA’s Origin Software, Ubisoft’s Uplay, and Nvidia’s ShadowPlay feature.
Wall Street Journal on the other hand, has also confirmed the reports but says that the deal might not be finalized soon. Despite the rumors, YouTube and Twitch haven’t denied the reports either.