YouTube In Talks To Buy Video Game Streaming Company Twitch For $1B

You can only fill the day with so many videos of cute kittens. For the other hours you might be tempted to watch or play a few video games. The transition from cute baby animal videos to action-packed gaming could be smoother now that Google’s YouTube is reportedly close to purchasing streaming video game service Twitch.

According to a report on Variety, YouTube is set to purchase the popular video game-streaming company for more than $1 billion.

While sources say the deal is imminent, the Wall Street Journal reports that Twitch could still consider raising additional funding instead of selling the company.

If the deal goes through it would be the biggest acquisition in YouTube’s history. The video-sharing site was acquired by Google for $1.65 billion in 2006.

Since its 2011 launch Twitch has become one of the most popular destination for watching and broadcasting video games. The San Francisco-based company allows its 45 million monthly users to upload and watch free, live gameplay videos on Microsoft Xbox and PlayStation 4 consoles. The service currently accounts for nearly 44% of U.S. live-streaming traffic.

While Twitch falls behind Netflix and YouTube in terms of on-demand video streaming content, the company does have more engaged users – an attractive trait for advertisers, the WSJ reports.

Twitch users will sit “for hours on end” watching live broadcasts of others playing video games, Seth Bardelas, head of agency development at TubeMogus – a video-advertising software firm– tells the WSJ. Bardelas says that quality that could help the company sell ads at a premium price.

The possible acquisition isn’t the only good news gaming enthusiasts have received this month. Just last week, Microsoft announced it would no longer require Xbox users to pay extra for access to streaming video. The company also announced it would soon offer a Kinect-free version of the Xbox One for a discount.

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

Google in Talks About Possible Acquisition of Twitch [The Wall Street Journal]