YouTube Makes $1B Play for Game Streaming Site: Report

Company looks to acquire Twitch

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted May 19, 2014 9:41 AM CDT

(Newser) – YouTube is on the verge of a $1 billion-plus deal to buy Twitch, sources tell Variety. If you're not nerdy enough to know, Twitch is a popular destination for video game fans, where top players (or anyone, really) stream video of their play sessions. The company boasts that it has more than 45 million monthly users, more than 1 million of whom stream content. During one week in April, it accounted for 44% of all US streaming traffic, according to Qwilt.

Just how close the deal is to done is unclear; Variety says it "is expected to be announced imminently," but the Wall Street Journal characterizes talks as "at an early stage." YouTube is bracing for anti-trust objections, given how large its lead already is in the online video space. The Google unit has more than 1 billion monthly users, but its streaming service, YouTube Live, actually lags behind Twitch. Basically, Twitch users are engaged, while YouTube's aren't, a Qilt VP says, "and engagement is what drives advertising."

This image provided by Microsoft/Twitch, shows a screenshot from the updated Twitch app for Xbox One.   (AP Photo/Microsoft/Twitch)
This undated publicity photo released by Microsoft/Twitch shows the streaming video service, Twitch, broadcasting the fighting game, “Killer Instinct,” on Xbox One.   (AP Photo/Microsoft/Twitch)
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