YouTube close to buying Twitch for US$1bn

19 May 2014

Google-owned video site YouTube is believed to be close to concluding its acquisition of live streaming service Twitch for around US$1bn, but may have to fend off interest from various suitors, including Microsoft.

Twitch lets users upload and watch for free live gameplay videos that can be streamed from the Microsoft Xbox and PlayStation 4 consoles.

It will be the most important acquisition in YouTube history, since it itself was acquired by Google for US$1.65bn in 2006.

Twitch has 45m monthly users, according to Variety, and more than 1m players upload videos each month.

According to various reports, Twitch is veering towards Google as it believes Google has the technology and infrastructure to help it scale rapidly.

The company is believed to be profitable and raised US$20m from investors in 2013.

Considering how vital Twitch has become to the latest generation of games console users, the move makes perfect sense for YouTube but on the other hand Microsoft would be hopping mad to miss out on the deal.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years