Google look poised to acquire Twitch for a cool $1 billion, so far nobody is denying it
Twitch, undoubtedly the best gaming streaming service around, has been having some problems lately. The service currently has 6 million broadcasts and over 12 billion minutes being viewed per month. This is great for the company (think of the ad revenue) but they are having trouble keeping up with such rapid growth. Whilst not everyone has been affected, some people, myself included, have had problems with lagging live streams, videos dropping out and no audio being available. The truth is that they need some help to keep going.
Gaming videos are hugely popular on YouTube; channels like Yogscast have nearly seven million subscribers. Gaming channels have been identified as a sure fire technique to get views, which is why every YouTube personality has been launching their own separate channel where people can watch them play the latest games. It’s an area that Google can capitalise on, and a very fast way to capitalise is by buying a company that already has a large following.
It’s safe to say that Google is not going to ruin Twitch, the negative media buzz surrounding this is similar to the time YouTube was purchased for $1.65 billion in 2006. Today, YouTube remains much the same as it did before it’s aquisition by Google – if not better.
Google will perhaps change the system a bit but is that necessarily a bad thing? For one, the whole subscription and donation scheme will probably be scrapped and the “Twitch personalities” will fall under the umbrella of the YouTube Partner Programme. That’s good for all involved, viewers will not feel the need to spend their hard earned money on donations and the personalities will get financed based on their page views and subscriptions – which will help them to net a lot more moolah.
Don’t get me wrong, I fear the forced Google profile merge as much as you do, but it didn’t change much on YouTube – you still have the option to go by your handle rather than your real name. And with Twitch, wouldn’t the option to stream your gaming to your social profile be quite cool? Just think, all the Google employees that populate Plus could watch.
There are also many opportunities open to Google with this venture, one being using the well known personalities to live stream their discussions on other popular events, e.g. the Oscars, the Superbowl, Game of Thrones, as promotion. Obviously, the TV networks would need to get involved but Google, in their infinite power, could probably make this happen.
The possibilities of Google buying Twitch are endless. It is a sign of gaming’s meteoric rise into the mainstream, and also that now is the time for gaming to be taken more seriously. We live in the time where hardcore gamers have become the minority and families and casual gamers are taking the helm. Now that there’s more of a profitable market out there, why wouldn’t the big companies want to get involved? Google isn’t the only company to take note of the appeal gaming has to the masses. Facebook purchased the Oculus Rift system for $2 billion, and creator Palmer Luckey says that it was the best possible move for his VR headset.
Soon, the Fortune 500 will own everything we love. You never know, it might actually work out.