Google has reportedly signed a deal to buy video game streaming site Twitch for $1 billion, according to a new report from VentureBeat.
The acquisition was first rumoured to be on the cards in May this year and if true would give Google a virtual monopoly over live-streaming video online.
Twitch, which launched in June 2011 and is perhaps most widely known for hosting a massively multiplayer game of Pokemon, allows people to broadcast their gaming sessions online over PCs, Xbox One or PlayStation 4. The site has more than 50 million monthly active users with 1.1 million of these broadcasting videos each month.
According to statistics reported by the Wall Street Journal, Twitch is now the fourth largest user of internet traffic in the US (although its 1.8 per cent share sits way behind those of Netflix and Google, 32 per cent and 22 per cent of traffic respectively, with Apple in third place with 4.3 per cent.)
The company’s vice president of marketing Matthew DiPietro said that thse numbers were a “wonderful validation that Twitch is now officially playing in the big leagues,” with its share of internet traffic by volume putting it ahead of both Facebook and Amazon (although these sites are far less data intensive).
In a retrospective of 2013, Twitch streamed more than 12,000,000,000 minutes of video, with 45 million unique monthly viewers watching an average of 106 minutes of content per day.
This sort of dedicated audience is no doubt part of the company’s attraction to Google, especially as the prominence of e sports continues to grow.
Earlier this week the world’s largest video game tournament, The International, handed out more than $10 million in prize money to teams from across the world playing the arena-based battle game Defense of the Ancients, with Twitch live-streaming the entire event.Reuse content