YouTube to Acquire Videogame-Streaming Service Twitch for $1 Billion: Sources

Twitch to live stream game content

Deal would be biggest ever for Google-owned YouTube

Google’s YouTube has reached a preliminary deal to buy Twitch, a popular videogame-streaming company, for more than $1 billion, according to sources familiar with the pact.

The deal, in an all-cash offer, is expected to be announced imminently, sources said. If completed the acquisition would be the most significant in the history of YouTube, which Google acquired in 2006 for $1.65 billion. The impending acquisition comes after longtime Google ad exec Susan Wojcicki was named CEO of YouTube earlier this year.

Reps for YouTube and Twitch declined to comment.

SEE ALSO: Why Google Wants to Hitch Twitch and YouTube

San Francisco-based Twitch lets users upload and watch free, live gameplay videos that can be streamed from Microsoft Xbox One and Sony PlayStation 4 consoles, and also sells a $9 monthly ad-free subscription and subscriptions to individual channels for about $5 per month. The company claims to have more than 45 million monthly users, with more than 1 million members who upload videos each month. It also has deals to distribute shows from partners including CBS Interactive’s GameSpot, Joystiq and Destructoid.

YouTube is preparing for U.S. regulators to challenge the Twitch deal, according to sources. YouTube is far and away the No. 1 platform for Internet video, serving more than 6 billion hours of video per month to 1 billion users worldwide, and the company expects the Justice Department to take a hard look at whether buying Twitch raises anticompetitive issues in the online-video market.

Twitch was launched in June 2011 by Justin Kan and Emmett Shear, co-founders of Justin.tv, one of the first websites to host livestreaming user-generated video. Shear currently serves as CEO of Twitch.

Founded in 2011, the startup has raised about $35 million in funding. Investors include Bessemer Venture Partners, Alsop Louie Partners, WestSummit Capital, Take-Two Interactive Software, Thrive Capital and Draper Associates. Twitch Interactive, which includes Justin.tv, has about 130 employees.

SEE ALSO: Major League Gaming, Twitch Compete to Become the ESPN of Videogames

Gameplay videos already are a highly popular category on YouTube. Twitch also plays in the separate “e-sports” market covering live professional gaming competitions; others in that space include tournament organizer Major League Gaming, a New York-based company whose investors include Oak Investment Partners and Relativity Media CEO Ryan Kavanaugh.

In March 2014, Twitch represented 1.35% of all downstream bandwidth on North American fixed-access broadband networks — nearly triple from last fall, according to bandwidth-equipment company Sandvine.

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  1. billted says:

    Kaceytron is the only thing on that website worth paying attention to.

  2. allan bagnall says:

    a semi forgotten entity in this is justin.tv as it is owned by twitch interactive once the shining star of live broadcasting sadly reduced to a pale imitation of its former self, recently justin has been on the downslope badly many of its features are being removed as the staff were unable to fix it while i wish twitch every success its the death knell for justin and rumours are justin staff are being offered jobs on twitch in preparation cant imagine how much damage that lot will do to twitch like they did on jtv so if being tied to google doesnt harm them im sure bad coding will

  3. Not a Chance says:

    I’m calling bullshit on this. One, it has not been confirmed by either company. Two, every new article that mentions this “merger” cites this article as it’s source. And three, this cite won’t cite it’s own source. I’m fairly confident this is a rumor. If it isn’t, then from what I’ve heard from many streamers on Twitch there will be a mass exodus from the platform

  4. Liam says:

    get ready to have to sign in to google for EVERYTHING we do on the internet

  5. let Google own everything, what can possibly go wrong.

  6. Michael Vera says:

    Pretty sure it ain’t finalized yet. I’m tryna hop on that gameplay community too ya heard. Can you doig it

    But yeah…I think it’s still a rumor. Stiil, it would be interesting if Youtube actually bought Twitch. Hope Twitch stays independent tho

  7. Takato14 says:

    This BETTER be a rumor. I’ve been using twitch for years and I literally JUST bought a VCC so I could start streaming. It hasn’t even arrived in the mail yet. Talk about bullshit.

  8. Andreas Kraugerud-Carlsen says:

    Why can’t google keep their hands off the good things in life?! Now they are going ruin Twitch too?!

  9. maxz26 says:

    They will get on doing a monopoly, then they will shutdown what they’ve bought with the excuse that the revenue wasn’t enough, while it actually was. Then youtube will be the only good website standing and everything else would’ve merged into Youtube.

  10. RO says:

    Nope. Needs more digging for proof, and that would ruin Twitch, Their staff are dedicated, while Google’s staff still have trouble managing YouTube alone.

  11. maxz26 says:

    Please don’t sell off Twitch… I love you :'( Youtube will ruin you!!! :(

  12. Billy says:

    Well I guess there’s always ustream

  13. Todd Spangler says:

    Thanks. Typo is fixed.

  14. Joel Adams says:

    Google are going to ruin twitch just like then broke the YouTube copyright system DO NOT BUY THIS!

  15. I don’t think people realize that they’re pretty much ditching the google+ route. The head of the google+ idea left a while back and google+ is dying.

  16. Dager4 says:

    No. This is going to ruin Twitch… If you need any proof, look at youtube…. Google turned that into a hellhole, now Twitch too?

  17. A Practical Person says:

    If Comcast is allowed to buy Time Warner and AT&T is allowed to buy DIrectTV, then Google should be allowed to buy Twitch. Simple.

  18. Fuck google-As usualtheyfuckusover says:

    Well, if that happens it will be time to move to a new site, simple as that…. Google have already ruined youtube and they will do the same with twitch… that really sucks…

  19. DJJasper12 says:

    Let’s hope this never happens! Google is so annoying with buying everything on the internet. I want to use copyrighted music!

    • RO says:

      They’re buying more than the some of the most popular parts of the internet. They are buying the lions-share of robotics and AI companies.

    • BooyakaDragon says:

      Copyrighted music is a law in every country. Blame your government and bands for caring about making money.

  20. Magma says:

    Let’s hope this never happens, last thing I need is my favorite streams getting blocked by some content-ID matches

  21. Noobs says:

    welcome to twitch.tv plz login with your Google+ :)

  22. Keepo says:

    They can buy over Twitch regarding if they keep the chat as it is. Twitch without chat is like driving a car without sterling wheels.

    • RO says:

      Self-driving cars = Google. They’re working on that issue already. XD

    • aerione says:

      You’ll want to retract that, it’s rather: “Twitch without chat is like driving a car WITH steering wheels.”
      And I want to ask you, you the hell would want that!?
      Crazy and unlogical rides ftw!

  23. Haakon Magnus Bøe says:

    Google kjøper opp alt som er “stort” på nette. Både youtube og twitch er sinnsykt populære sider. Google hvorfor??

  24. DingDingDong says:

    ヽ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ノ raise your googles ヽ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ノ

  25. Joshua Belcher says:

    So they can go deleting everyone on copyright infringement allegations? All I see Google doing is buying Twitch, changing its interface 5 or 6 times, run everyone away, shutting Streamers down, and closing the site entirely by 2015

    I hate what Google did to YouTube, I hate the redesigned layouts they put out. Yes, I’m whining, back around 2011/2012 I was getting used to everything, now I can’t find the damned inbox link without drudging through the hellhole useless Google+ they think is the second coming of Raptor Jesus.

    You watch, Google will ruin Twitch, better enjoy it before they crash it into the ground.

  26. assfagots says:

    $1b come on twitch you are worth wayyyy more

  27. nashon says:

    well i rather Google bought it than MLG.

    Kappa.

  28. Twitch is a streaming website, primarily aimed at the PC segement of the market. You cannot upload videos. MLG is not a competitor. Own3d was a true competitor, it went bankrupt and vanished.

  29. NO says:

    Google is going to fuck up twitch. but in a slow way, just like they did to youtube.

    yes youtube WAS bought by google back in 2006, when you guys were under 13.

  30. ヽ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ノ raise your dongers ヽ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ノ

  31. gosh says:

    Twitch lest you upload gameplay? That’s too much bull crap for one day. Please do a deeper research when writing an article :)

    • blarg says:

      What do you mean ‘bullcrap’? That is literally the the main function of twich

    • Solan says:

      What’s wrong with that statement? AGDQ, a charity stream that show speedruns of various games, and thus gameplay OF those games, runs on Twitch.

    • pandymen says:

      Do you not agree with the wording? People upload and stream videos of them playing games.

  32. Jack Hartweg says:

    mlg is not a competitor to twitch at all twitch is a video streaming service and mlg is a competitive esport tournament organizer

    • pandymen says:

      MLG also has their own streaming service and has been attempting to seduce various E-sports tourneys (some dota tourneys) into streaming on their site in lieu of twitch.

  33. You can steam from PC too.

  34. EllaElla says:

    Wow, this is the worst rumored news I’ve heard in a long time. I am a huge fan of Twitch, but I do not like the direction YouTube has gone in lately–particularly with the Google Plus integration. As a user of both services, I hope Google keeps its hands off of Twitch and stops trying to take over everything just to screw it up. I don’t think any challenge is going to be successful. If Time Warner and Comcast can merge, there are no limits anymore. The only thing I can hope for is the deal going south.

  35. TheDarkzX9 says:

    No way -_- What next? Wikipedia?

  36. MisterX says:

    worst thing that could ever happen! Google is becoming like a disease… First they ruined Youtube and now they are after TwitchTV. -__-

    Incoming:

    -30fps cap
    -Content ID
    -Paranoid censorship, blocking random videos and harassing uploaders without any evidence of wrong doing, because some troll thought it would be funny to report ownership when there is none. Then flat refusal to actually verify it.
    -Busted comment system that half the time won’t let you post at all, the other half not being able to tell the difference between spam and legit comments. Troll spam reports instantly hiding posts, again without any moderation/verification, and no way to reverse it.

    • Twitch is already capped at 30 fps. YouTube acquiring Twitch is probably the best thing to happen to the site.

      • Commissar says:

        no, it’s not. i’ve streamed at 60FPS using OBS before.

      • someone says:

        Twitch is not capped at 30 fps, you can go up to 60 easily if you want. The commenter higher up is completely right about everything, it’s the worst thing that could happen to twitch.

      • You'reWrongTooBud says:

        For live streaming, Twitch caps out at 60 fps provided you pay for a XSplit subscription. VOD also caps out at 60 fps

  37. Someone says:

    RIP in peace, twitch. The king Midas of crap is about to lay its finger upon thee.

  38. Oh yay! Now we can look forward to the layout of the site changing every 6 months for no good reason. I’m also super psyched to get all my videos flagged without warning! Let’s not forget Google+ integration, because I love it when a company forces me to use a social network I have no interest in being a part of because it’s in their agenda! Google has some of the most pretentious, smug people working for them, acting as if everything they do is god’s gift to the internet.

  39. Estaria mal porque twitch una pagina de tan pocos años como compañia de stream
    deberia tener un tiempo de progreso

    • Que mal por twitch porque es una de las grandes fuentes de progreso para gamers y stremers, pero que bien por google que estara cada vez aumentando ganancias a traves de fuentes pequeñas. tuyiyo LAS

  40. ascy says:

    please note the repeted phrase ‘according to sources’ which means, it’s bullshit

    • hitakashi says:

      I know right? Someone could have easily mocked up a photo or conversation and then sent it to this website. Every single other website has used Variety as a source. Twitch Staff have already said ‘We don’t comment on rumors’, I’m almost certain it’s bullshit.

  41. revolution says:

    plz don’t let youtube buy twitch they will ruin twitch layout has they’ve ruined youtube layout plz no no bad youtube its sucks

    • hitakashi says:

      Considering Twitch users used to hate the current layout of streams, I bet they could redo Twitch so it looks better.

      At least it would be consistent throughout. How long did it takes to convert the setting pages into the new layout? The front page is still on the old layout design.

  42. Rich says:

    There’s no source in this article.

  43. Zechariah says:

    CONGRATS! Google/YouTube on picking up another Spy network to monitor the Youth! how much sooner till your done with the RFID chip to implant? Mark of the Beast technology. Obviously nobody there is a christian. God Help Us!

  44. tleblanc2 says:

    Reblogged this on that one ginger and commented:
    I just have one big question … Why? YouTube is a company with a completely separate style of service in mind from what Twitch offers. It just doesn’t make sense to me that this would be a beneficial move for YouTube.

  45. JamRun says:

    I think this has potential to actually be a good thing, as long as there aren’t youtube type or bureaucratic issues, particularly copyright issues. Hopefully twitch would still function as it does now, but more integrated with google and youtube, with the same people running it. Also, I don’t think this would contribute overly to anti competition, in part because I don’t think twitch and youtube really compete with each other.

    • hitakashi says:

      They will most likely bring over the ContentID system. RIP Everything. Music from a game? Boom ContentID Take Down. They will probably take down the Admin Team that contains members of Twitch Staff friends and members from the same community for YTs report system. (Which IIRC is a mix of automation and manually)

      This *could* be a good merger, but I would have rather Google spend the $1 Billion for protecting Net Neutrality.

  46. cayn0r says:

    It would make perfect sense for YouTube to buy Twitch.tv. I’ve read that they streamed a videogame finale to over 1.000.000 people: http://1ksociety.com/2014/05/19/riptwitch-youtube-about-to-acquire-twitch-tv-for-1-billion/ – it was from the game League of Legends. Those are pretty impressive numbers and def. something YouTube would like to get its hands on!

  47. Spacecraft says:

    “San Francisco-based Twitch lets users upload and watch free, live gameplay videos that can be streamed from Microsoft Xbox and PlayStation 4 consoles.”

    Uh, and streaming from PC. You know the platform that made Twitch what it is today? The platform that still brings in the vast majority of traffic for Twitch? Yeesh.

  48. papa says:

    I prefer any company over Google to buy it. I lost respect to Googe with their new rules and enforcements. They force you to google+ your youtube account, and force you to combine all google products. They store your search data, basically everything you do with a google product is being used Against you. Fu*K Google, F*cK FaceBook! Twitch was the only entertainment I would watch when Bored, and now its going to shit

  49. Overgames says:

    Haha 1st April Fool ! … Whaaaaat?!! We are already in May?! What the *$?#&! is going on?!

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