Why Is Google Itching To Acquire Twitch For Over $1 Billion Dollars?
Google is at it again; purchasing yet another company most people have never heard of. So it does beg the question, why would Google spend over $1 billion for a company that is obviously not that popular? Well, Innov8tiv tries to take a look at the reasons behind this new move by Google.
Last Sunday, word on the tech-streets were that YouTube (Google’s video hosting and streaming service) is on the hot pursuit of acquiring Twitch; a video game broadcasting service at a price tag of a little over $1 billion. Twitch.tv is a video game or rather video game competition broadcasting service from Justin.tv. Twitch was launched by Justin.tv (individual streaming service akin to Ustream) back in 2011.
On the Twitch platform, gamers and video games enthusiasts are able to create Twitch channels from which they can broadcast live their games on gaming console or PC. They can also host video podcast programs that have been given video games themes for other people to watch. The site is also a buzz with live video game trade shows and eSports; live video game competitions.
To gamers, Twitch is regarded as the most popular gaming service provider, with hits averaging 45 million monthly most of which are gamers visits to the site. Last year the site had 30 million unique visitors. Looking at the bandwidth statistics, Twitch has more traffic than Facebook, Hulu and Amazon; with these kinds of statistics, now you can get an idea why Google is itching to get Twitch. Though YouTube still tops the chat when compared to Twitch, so why does YouTube seek out to buy Twitch?
YouTube dominates its niche of video streaming, but Google sees more potential gain from live-streaming; to be specific live video game streaming as well as live video game watching. Hence Google has identified that area of investing to be very lucrative, and what better way to invest than to buy out the already well established competitor?
Google, last year, rolled out its own gaming streaming services but the performance was far from pleasing. Google’s attempts to get gamers to add YouTube’s live streaming feature yielded mild success, unlike Twitch which has continued to pick up steam over the years, and is currently boasting of more than one million avid broadcasters.
Twitch as a company has proven to be quite innovative and adaptive to the current consumer trends. They built a New Twitch console app for the new Xbox One and PlayStation 4 which allows gamers to stream live without having to connect to a PC; gamers upload to Twitch right from their gaming console.
Considering the seeming popularity of Twitch among gamers, so why would it consider selling out to Google rather than compete? Well, the answer to this question would be, $1 Billion is too big a price to turn down. Well, that and the additional fact that Twitch has fallen victim of its own success. As the numbers of gamers using Twitch grew, Twitch has been experiencing more and more network lags. For instance, back in 2013 Twitch had to implement delays that sometimes lasted 60 seconds on live broadcasting. Hence, selling out to YouTube with its beefier bandwidth makes more sense if it wants reliable streaming services to its current users.
However, there are chances that Twitch might not be integrated directly into YouTube, but still Google can boost Twitch with resources that would facilitate and enhance streaming and viewing services for gamers. Just like it did to a once tiny start-up, YouTube, Twitch users ought to be excited by the news of Google buying Twitch since if “Powered by GoogleTM” gamers will enjoy the services because of the financial might and support from Google.
Perhaps Google will do for Twitch what it has done for YouTube since it acquired YouTube back in 2006. Empower Twitch but keep it operating independently and separately rather that swallowing it to become part of Google fraternity; the way YouTube is currently run by Google.
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