Has the long-rumored merger of two online video titans finally occurred?
Venturebeat is reporting Google has signed a deal to buy game-streaming service Twitch, for $1 billion. (Both companies are declining to comment on the report.)
While nothing official has been announced - and the $1 billion figure is not confirmed - gaming industry observers have been expecting a team-up of the two companies since May, when Variety and The Wall Street Journal reported the deal was being discussed.
Google’s YouTube division is reportedly leading the charge here - and the incorporation of Twitch’s live-stream broadcasting technology could be a big shift in its day-to-day operations.
Assuming that $1 billion price tag is correct, this would be the fifth largest acquisition in Google’s history - right below the company’s 2006 purchase of YouTube for $1.65 billion - underscoring the site’s importance to Google.
Twitch, which was founded in June 2011, has seen its profile skyrocket since last November, thanks in large part to partnerships with Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4.
The platform boasts a community of over 50 million unique users each month, with 1.1 million broadcasters - and visitors averaging 106 minutes per day on the service. (Total monthly views top 13 billion minutes. That works out to a bit shy of 25 years, by the way.)
Simply put, it has become the Internet’s go-to spot to watch and broadcast game streaming. (Among its investors is game publisher Take-Two Interactive Software.)
Those are numbers YouTube envies - and could be a nice complement to the growing number of game-focused celebrities on the site, like Sweden’s Felix Arvid Ulf Kjelberg, better known as PewDiePie, who has nearly 29 million subscribers.
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