Google is apparently eyeing up the game streaming service Twitch.
Twitch, which lets gamers show off their skills to others around the world via uploaded videos (yes, a bit like YouTube does, too) is a well-trafficked site that now boasts over 45 million unique viewers per month. Doubtless the integration of the service into the Xbox One and PS4 consoles has helped the cause.
And now Google wants to purchase Twitch according to two sources of the Wall Street Journal, and while the WSJ said nothing about the money involved, a purported $1 billion plus (£590 million) asking price has been mentioned by Variety.
Also, according to Variety the deal is agreed and about to be announced, but if you listen to the WSJ insiders, this deal is still in the fairly early stages of negotiation – and certainly isn't an imminent acquisition. Obviously we'll find out who's on the money soon enough.
While Google obviously has YouTube for gaming content as we've already mentioned, Twitch has a concentrated gamer audience who'll spend hours upon hours on the site watching and sharing videos, which is attractive to advertisers. As Mark Fisher, VP of business development for Qwilt, told the WSJ, YouTube lacks "the engagement, and engagement is what drives advertising." He noted: "Google can try to build this on its own or they can buy something that's already out there and doing well."
Of course, if this does turn into an actual acquisition bid, regulatory bodies may have something to say about YouTube absorbing a big streaming player like Twitch.