Skip to main content

YouTube to snap up video game streaming site Twitch for $1 billion

microsoft xbox one review interface twitch
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Google-owned YouTube is in acquisition talks with live video-game streaming service Twitch, reports indicate. Entertainment publication Variety says a deal has been reached to the tune of $1 billion, potentially making it the largest in YouTube’s post-Google history. However, a report published by The Wall Street Journal dials things back slightly, saying the two companies are indeed discussing a deal, but it’s only in the early stages, and no decisions have been reached.

You’re almost certainly aware of YouTube, the world’s number one destination for online video, but you may not know Twitch. 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.

If the acquisition talks turn out to be right, then YouTube is very keen to get in at the start of a growing phenomenon. Google’s video site may have its own fair share of gameplay videos already, but Twitch’s popularity could help it dominate what is becoming a very popular genre. In May, videos uploaded to YouTube by gamer PewDiePie received nearly 300 million views, and he has just over 26 million subscribers, making it the most popular channel on the site.

There’s still plenty of uncertainty over whether a deal will be struck. Variety quotes sources” familiar with the situation,” while a Twitch PR representative tweeted that the company doesn’t comment on rumors, so treat this as speculation for now. If it does turn out to be factual, and Variety’s sources are correct, this could be an all-cash deal, and it could be officially announced very soon.

Editors' Recommendations

Andy Boxall
Andy is a Senior Writer at Digital Trends, where he concentrates on mobile technology, a subject he has written about for…
Where is the line between streamer responsibility and Twitch accountability?
twitch hate raids interview raid featured image

Words hold power. It's something that writers, journalists, and orators have known since the earliest days of civilization, but in the intervening years, it's become even clearer to everyone as we've witnessed the rise of widely-shared social media content. The world of gaming has seen its horizons infinitely expanded with the introduction of online guides, Let's Plays, and other prerecorded video content, and livestreaming. Many of us, myself included, have been introduced to illustrious personalities and impressive content that we would not otherwise have known about.

Streaming in particular has launched the careers of many, turning the oft-mocked solitary habit of gaming into something one could do in front of an audience of thousands on Twitch. It's not all happiness and smiles, though: The site has a dark, malicious undercurrent. Following the platform's recent string of hate raids, streamers are taking drastic measures -- and disproportionately large ones, compared to Twitch's own meager efforts -- to fight back. The problem is, they shouldn't have to.

Read more
TimTheTatman is latest streamer to ditch Twitch as protests mount
timthetatman leaves twitch

Tim "TimTheTatman" Betar is the latest high-profile streamer to announce his departure from Twitch. The content creator, who has 7 million followers on the platform, will be relocating to YouTube Gaming. Betar announced the move today with a video shared on his Twitter account that thanks fans for the support they've given him so far and expresses his wish for them to follow him to his new home.

His transition to the web's other large video platform follows those of Ben "DrLupo" Lupo, Rachell "Valkyrae" Hofstetter, and Jack "CouRage" Dunlop, all of whom have recently left Twitch to stream exclusively on YouTube.

Read more
How to livestream on YouTube with OBS
how to use obs obssetup04

Whether you’re interested in creating a fun tutorial for people to try at home, live streaming your favorite games, or even sharing your best jokes with a live audience, there’s a lot to love about creating content on YouTube.

When you want to directly interact with your audience in real-time, you can always set up a livestream, and the Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) tool is usually the best way to make it happen.
Get your YouTube stream key
Step 1: Create a YouTube account if you haven't already.

Read more