YouTube in Talks to Acquire Video Game Streaming Site Twitch

Google-owned YouTube is reportedly in active discussions to purchase live video-game streaming service Twitch. While Variety indicates a deal has already been reached for more than $1 billion, The Wall Street Journal more conservatively reports that the two companies are in talks, but in the early stages of a potential deal. Twitch was launched in 2011 by Justin Kan and Emmett Shear, the co-founders of Justin.tv, which was one of the first sites to live-stream user-generated video.

According to Variety: “The deal, in an all-cash offer, is expected to be announced imminently, sources said. If completed the acquisition would be the most significant in the history of YouTube, which Google acquired in 2006 for $1.65 billion. The impending acquisition comes after longtime Google ad exec Susan Wojcicki was named CEO of YouTube earlier this year.”

Meanwhile, WSJ reports: “The talks are at an early stage, and a deal isn’t imminent, the people said. The potential purchase price couldn’t be learned. Twitch also has considered raising additional funding instead of selling the company, according to one of the people.”

“You’re almost certainly aware of YouTube, the world’s number one destination for online video, but you may not know Twitch,” writes Digital Trends. “Based in San Francisco, Twitch lets gamers live-stream gameplay videos from a desktop computer, PlayStation 4, or Xbox One. Alternatively, recorded sessions can be uploaded to the site. It also plays host to some of the biggest live video game tournaments and claims to have 45 million monthly users.”

Google’s YouTube provides some 6 billion hours of video each month to a billion global users. Gameplay videos are becoming a popular category on the site.

“In May, videos uploaded to YouTube by gamer PewDiePie received nearly 300 million views,” explains DT, “and he has just over 26 million subscribers, making it the most popular channel on the site.”