YouTube is preparing to make its biggest acquisition since the buyout from Google in 2006 for $1.65 billion. Variety claims sources have revealed the deal is imminent and Google will announce details in the upcoming week.
The deal will be an all-cash offer from YouTube, subsidiary of Google, for $1 billion. This would be YouTube’s first big move to capitalise on a growing trend on the Web, self-hosting streams and video gaming.
YouTube has already prepared U.S. regulators to defend the deal, considering the likelihood of the Justice Department flagging it for anticompetitive issues. YouTube is number one in the video business by a long mile and taking Twitch.TV feels like overkill, especially since they have their own streaming functions.
Twitch.TV was launched in 2011 by Justin Kan and Emmett Shear, previous co-founders of Justin.TV. The original Justin.TV has failed to take off, but their gaming platform Twitch has become one of the most viewed websites.
The streaming Website has boasted some impressive numbers, 45 million active monthly users and over one million content creators. In late 2013 over 32 million people watched a grand final League of Legends tournament, most on Twitch.
Twitch.TV is primarily used for pro-players to show off their solo experience and also where eSports companies like Riot Games and Valve stream tournaments. Many professional eSports players make a decent living off the ad-revenue and subscriber button on their Twitch profile.
Essentially Twitch is a new style of video content, based around video games. Instead of recording a 30 minute video, editing it and posting to YouTube, content creators stream the video game while playing and can fiddle around with streaming software to make their stream look unique.
This has allowed things like copyrighted music to get under the radar, but with the YouTube acquisition we could see this sort of trend stopped. It will be harder for YouTube to track music as Twitch is all live, but any VOD’s posted later could be taken down if they have copyrighted music.
YouTube will look to settle the deal later this week, if the sources are correct we should hear official news soon.