Gamers, be warned — Twitch might soon be thrust under the umbrella of the big, bad Google. YouTube reportedly wants to buy the video games streaming network for over $1 billion. The news isn’t official, though Variety has it on good authority that the deal is being prepped for proposal to shareholders, investors, antitrust regulators and the like.
This would be both YouTube and Twitch’s biggest deal ever. The former hasn’t made tons of moves as an independent entity, though parent company Google isn’t against throwing money around every other day. Twitch, on the other hand, has raised just $35 million to date, making this their biggest deal yet by far. It’ll be interesting to see how Justin.TV figures into all of this considering they’re the very umbrella that Twitch exists under.
Gaming content on YouTube has come a long way since late 2010 and early 2011, the time during which Twitch was erected. It has been one of the most popular categories on YouTube, and was the absolute most popular category on parent service Justin.TV since that time.
YouTube is obviously no stranger to dabbling in the live streaming arena. It launched the service to partners and special content providers some time ago, and since expanded to the everyday Joe Schmoe through Google+ Hangouts on Air. But Twitch’s sole focus on gaming has allowed them to become not only the biggest web destination for live video game streaming, but one of the biggest live streaming platforms period.
Of course, there’s no telling how YouTube would look to leverage Twitch should this deal go through, but we’ll be keeping a close eye on all this if it ever makes its way past the courtrooms of the world. In the meantime, we’re just hoping Twitch will update their archaic Android app with a more modern user interface like they’ve already done for our iOS-using brethren.
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