May 21, 2014

YouTube may acquire video game streaming web site Twitch

It was reported recently that YouTube may be in talks of plans to acquire Twitch, a live video-streaming service that caters to video game players and the gaming community.

It has been reported that YouTube, which is owned by Google, may be looking to buy Twitch for $1 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal. YouTube is not the only company interested in potentially making a deal, as Amazon and Microsoft were noted as other potential contenders, according to CNN. 

Twitch receives more than 45 million visitors per month, the company details on its web site. The site allows users to watch video games being played by other users, broadcast video game playing and interact with members of the community like a social network for gaming enthusiasts.  

YouTube videos of people playing video games are popular with video game fans, and some users reportedly have viewer bases of more than 1 million subscribers. As CNN points out, the aspect of live-streaming events may be of interest to YouTube.

This acquisition strategy could also make sense for advertising purposes. With the amount of traffic that Twitch receives, advertisers would be able to reach a wider audience. According to Adweek, the site receives 400-500 million monthly ad impressions. 

As Variety notes, this deal may be subject to scrutiny by federal regulators due to potential anti-competition issues that may arise. As we have discussed previously on blog, when two large companies merge, it may raise regulatory issues.

For example, the Comcast and Time Warner Cable deal and the AT&T and DirecTV deal will have to be approved by regulators before they can be completed. YouTube and Twitch may face a similar scenario, should the deal be officially announced.