Google has reportedly secured a deal to buy gaming video platform Twitch for an estimated US$1bn. Post-acquisition, Twitch will be merged into the search giant’s YouTube division.
Twitch enables video gamers to broadcast their gameplay from the PC, Xbox One or PlayStation 4 to the internet, in some cases making celebrities out of skilled gamers.
According to Sandvine, Twitch represented 1.35pc of all internet traffic. The site has more than 50m monthly active users and more than 1.1m members broadcast their gaming videos every month.
Users typically watch an average of 106 minutes of video play every day and more than 13bn minutes of video are uploaded every month.
Twitch also distributes TV shows from partners such as GameSpot, Joystiq and Destructoid.
According to VentureBeat, the deal – understood to be all-cash – has been masterminded by YouTube, which Google acquired in 2006 for US$1.65bn.
Twitch’s creators are the founders of Justin.tv – a life-casting site – after video gamers began using the site to broadcast gameplay.
The company has raised more than US$35m in funding from investors that include Alsop Louie Partners, WestSummit Capital, Take-Two Interactive, Thrive Capital and Draper Associates.
According to Variety, the acquisition makes sense for Google since it has been struggling to get into live broadcasting and because Twitch has established a proven model for subscription-based video.
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