At the end of January, we highlighted some new contenders on the video game live-streaming scene, to include Valve’s Steam Broadcasting Beta. Now we are talking about video powerhouse YouTube’s intention to relaunch their live-streaming service with a specific focus on gaming and esports.
As Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos stated,
Broadcasting and watching gameplay is a global phenomenon (via The Verge).
YouTube first experimented with live-streaming back in 2010 with little success. Then in 2013, YouTube Live was launched to bring events including sports, entertainment, news, and gaming to viewers as they are happening. Despite the two years it has been running, the Live network has only garnered a little over 7,000 subscribers. “Much of YouTube’s live content has long been dominated by foreign language news, obscure sports events, or hastily assembled Hangouts sessions. A new approach has been long overdue” (via The Daily Dot). And now with recent news of Twitter’s Periscope live-streaming, it’s no surprise that YouTube has been seeking a different approach through the audience found in the gaming market and unquestionably booming esports community.
Google-owned YouTube was in the process of acquiring Twitch for over $1 billion last May. However, when potential antitrust issues arose, Google was unable to close the deal and Amazon stepped in to purchase Twitch for $970 million (via Forbes). Since being acquired by Amazon, Twitch has experienced continued growth over the last year, 100 million viewers each month and 1.5 million broadcasters, to be exact (via Twitch). Today, YouTube is reportedly going to step up its live-broadcasting game, which will pit itself in direct competition with its former acquisition target and video game live-streaming behemoth Twitch.
One source told The Daily Dot:
The time is right as well, with Twitch moving into other areas such as music and so on. Google doesn’t want to be too far behind in the arms race.
YouTube’s new service will likely be officially unveiled in June at E3. Until then, I’d personally like to know what Twitch’s response will be since its users rely on YouTube to export Past Broadcasts and Highlights. What are your thoughts, as either streamers or viewers, of this match-up?
Video Giant versus Streaming Titan. Ready! Fight!