Twitch, the world’s largest gaming website and community, lets gamers broadcast their live videoplay for viewers. It’s like the Netflix or Hulu for livestreamed games.
The report from VentureBeat on Thursday confirms an earlier report from Variety in May.
Google is hoping for lightning to strike twice with their affinity for online video. For what Google accomplished with online video gargantuan YouTube after its purchase in 2006 for $1.65 billion, we can expect the same from Twitch.
This reported purchase also signifies the mainstream growth of the online video gaming community and the legitimization of gaming as a sport that people actually want to watch. It’s a huge opportunity for gamers and the advertisers who can profit billions from the virality.
The livestreaming platform has already developed an enormous community, albeit a niche one within the gaming subculture. And according to Twitch’s numbers from last year, audience numbers are skyrocketing.
The gaming service saw 45 million unique visitors per month last year, and 12 billion minutes of gaming were consumed each month in 2013. With one million broadcasters, Twitch sees more peak traffic than Facebook and Hulu.
Google’s reported acquisition also shows that the search engine giant is paying attention to YouTube’s thriving gaming community. Gaming channels like Stampylonghead and The Diamond Minecart have amassed over 3 million subscribers apiece.
YouTube’s most subscribed channel of all time stars Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, also known as PewDiePie, whose gaming channel has now close to 29 million subscribers. Like many other gaming channels on YouTube, Kjellberg uploads videos of himself playing and reacting to games, popular draws being games like Happy Wheels and Flappy Bird.
With such a clear connection to the gaming community, YouTube and Google’s embrace of Twitch comes at the perfect time. We’ll just have to wait and see what Googly things might come from the gaming network in the future.
Images courtesy of Flickr user The World According To Marty, Ducksauce on Twitch.tv