Google to acquire Twitch.tv for more than $1 billion

Google logoWith Apple buying Beats and AT&T buying DirecTV, this seems to be the month of the blockbuster acquisition deal. And it looks like Google wants in on the action tooaccording to a report from Variety, the company is going to buy video game streaming site Twitch.tv for over $1 billion.

Google's YouTube division is heading up the acquisition, and that makes sense. Twitch is best thought of as a live streaming, gaming-focused version of YouTube. The streamer loads up his or her favorite game, and the audience watches and participates via an integrated chat room. Twitch recently made headlines as the host of Twitch Plays Pokémon, a social experiment where over 100,000 people simultaneously played a single instance of Pokémon. And the site is so popular that direct streaming has even been integrated into the PS4 and Xbox One.

While YouTube is indisputably the largest pre-recorded video site on the Internet, Twitch is undoubtedly among the Web's largest live-streaming video sites. Still, the scale between the two entities really isn't comparable: Twitch has 45 million monthly users, YouTube has one billion. A deal like this is sure to draw the ire of regulators, and the report says YouTube is gearing up to jump through the necessary approval hoops to get the deal done.

Twitch.tv

The two video sites have a lot of similarities. While Twitch is mainly a live-streaming site, the streams are also archived and can be played-back later. Streamers can also "highlight" stream segments and cut them up into smaller videos, which makes it a direct competitor to YouTube. Also like YouTube, Twitch displays ads and pays out ad revenue to content creators. Some popular streamers even make a living off of nothing but ad revenue and donations from viewers.

Variety says the announcement is expected to be made "imminently." Ars will continue to monitor the situation and update this post should any new details become available.

Update: The Wall Street Journal has chimed in saying that the Twitch/Google talks "are at an early stage, and a deal isn't imminent." It sounds like Google and Twitch are talking, but we're getting conflicting reports about the timing.

Update 2: The Verge adds some more details, saying Twitch chose Google over Microsoft, and the two companies have agreed on the $1 billion price tag. The report states biggest detail Google and Twitch have to agree on is how independant Twitch will be from the rest of Google.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: Google, YouTube

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Deni#10 0
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