Yet another source confirms that Google and Twitch are in advanced acquisition talks.
Venture Beat reports that the two companies have signed an agreement for a figure around the $1 billion mark, though the precise sum, or the moment when the acquisition will be made public, are not clear.
Back in May, multiple sources reported that Google and Twitch, a fast-growing video game streaming service, are discussing a buyout. However, there was some uncertainty around the deal. Twitch was reportedly considering an additional investment round as an alternative to selling to Google; in the past, Twitch had turned down offers from other suitors including Microsoft. The Xbox One, as well as the PS4, integrates Twitch, allowing gamers to broadcast their exploits to audiences in the millions.
At this point, we can safely say that Twitch will soon be a Google company, and an official announcement could come at any time. But what is it about Twitch that makes it worth a billion?
It’s all about live streaming. Google’s YouTube is, by far, the biggest and most popular video platform in the world, but Twitch is very strong in the live streaming niche, where it had an estimated 44 percent market share back in April. Every month, 50 million users log in to Twitch to watch other gamers’ virtual exploits, and an estimated 1.1 million users broadcast their videos.
Twitch will make for a nice update to YouTube’s live streaming business, and potentially a very lucrative one. The service’s audience is mostly made of young males, a prime demographic that advertisers would love to reach. And video game streaming is booming – with high-stakes tournaments like the recent $10 million Dota 2 International getting picked up by sportscasters like ESPN, there’s a good chance watching e-sports could turn into a mass phenomenon in the future.