What the Heck Is Twitch, and Why Does Google Think It’s Worth $1 Billion? [UPDATE: Amazon Bought Twitch]
UPDATE (2): It’s official. Amazon, not Google, has acquired Twitch for $970 million, the two companies announced on Monday.
UPDATE (1): After a couple months of dancing, the Google/Twitch acquisition was confirmed Friday at the $1 billion price tag. The service will become a part of YouTube.
Word on the street is that Google has an itch for Twitch.
Recent reports have YouTube, Google’s very popular video hosting and streaming service, eyeing a deal to acquire video game broadcasting service Twitch for more than $1 billion.
Ho-hum, Google is purchasing yet another company I’ve never heard. What’s the big deal, right? Well, this one could be important.
What is Twitch?
Twitch.tv was launched in 2011 as a video game, or video game competition, broadcasting branch of Justin.tv, which is a personal streaming service website similar to Ustream.
On it, gamers and gaming enthusiasts create their own Twitch channels to either broadcast live PC or console gameplay or host their own video game-themed video podcast programs for others to watch.
Enemy Front - Stealth
Twitch is regarded to be the most popular service of its kind for gamers, with roughly 45 million unique visitors monthly. That’s up from 30 million unique visitors last year. In terms of bandwidth, Twitch’s traffic is higher than Hulu, Amazon, and Facebook. It’s mammoth, even if you’ve never heard of it.
Why does YouTube need Twitch?
Even though Google’s YouTube service is still the king of the mountain when it comes to streaming video, it’s thought that Google sees the emergence of live-streaming, particularly video game streaming and live video game watching, as areas worth venturing into.
Last year Google rolled out a streaming gaming service of its own, beckoning game developers to add the live YouTube streaming feature into their titles. Unfortunately for YouTube, the foray into live video game streaming has seen only mild success, while Twitch has continued to pick up steam, with more than 1 million broadcasters on the site.
New Twitch console apps built for the recently released PlayStation 4 and Xbox One will also make streaming without a PC possible moving forward. You can just upload to Twitch straight from the machine.