Twitch is a live streaming video platform focused on e-sports and video gaming. The website was launched in June 2011 by Justin.tv co-founders Justin Kan and Emmett Shear as a subsidiary of Justin.tv focused on gaming-related content. According to internal analytics, with the average viewer watching an hour and a half a day.
Sources with Variety report that YouTube is nearing a deal to buy Twitch, the popular game streaming startup, for $1 billion. The deal is said to be an all-cash offer and will close “imminently,” according to Variety; The Wall Street Journal, however, has followed up with a report claiming that discussions are “early” and that “a deal isn’t imminent.” The move, if it succeeds, would effectively put one of the web’s most highly trafficked sites firmly in Google’s hands.
Details are currently scarce. However, for YouTube’s part, the move makes sense. Twitch, launched in 2011, has since become a premier destination for video game live-streams, and has effectively turned titles as offbeat as Pokemon into spectator sports. It currently has more than 1 million unique users broadcasting on its platform every month, and, according to a recent DeepField study, ranks ahead of even Google in terms of broadband traffic during peak hours. Twitch functionality is built into both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One game consoles.
While YouTube is otherwise the king of online video, it mostly missed the boat on livestreaming. Pulling Twitch into the fold would put all that content under one roof. However, Variety reports that YouTube is preparing for regulators to challenge the deal. Spokespeople for both YouTube and Twitch declined to comment.
Last night, Variety reported that Google is close to a deal that would purchase streaming giant Twitch for $1B. This morning, The Wall Street Journal says that the two parties are merely in “early talks,” and not necessarily close to an agreement yet. Neither Google nor Twitch are commenting on the potential deal, as can be expected when the stakes are this high.