Headline Of The Week
Reports earlier this week suggest that YouTube (and thus by extension, Google) are planning to buy the game-streaming company Twitch for a tasty $1,000,000,000. That is all cash up front by the way.
The popularity of Twitch has grown exponentially over the past few years as streaming footage and commentary from games has become a viable way of making a living – indeed, the userbase has swelled from 3.2 million in 2011 to over 45 million people last year. Most recently, both Sony and Microsoft have integrated Twitch streaming into their next gen hardware, and almost every major e-Sports competition is broadcast live on the service.
For getting its foot wedged firmly in the door of the gaming industry, a mere $1 billion must seem like a bargain for Google. The deal is far from settled at the moment though; by owning the two largest online video distributors in the world Google would have a lot to answer for with regards to competitive practices, and it remains to be seen if Google’s more strict approach to copyright would be inflammatory to the carefree attitude to content that Twitch users currently display.