About an hour after AT&T officially announced their plans to buy DirecTV, rumour of another billion-dollar acquisition has surfaced.
Seems like Google’s YouTube reportedly wants Twitch.tv, the increasingly popular service which lets gamers to watch others play games, live. The purported price tag? 1 billion.
According to Variety, the deal is already finalised, and they say the official announcement is looming. The WSJ, on the other hand, says the talks are too early to even set a price.
While the concept behind Twitch might seem crazy (I can’t even count the number of people I’ve heard ask “Why would you want to watch someone else play video games?”), the service has done nothing but rocket in popularity since launching back in 2011.
Turns out, people do like to watch other people play games. With competitive games, like League of Legends, gamers watch to learn; with other, more casual games, like Minecraft, they watch just to be entertained.
Twitch.tv is actually peculiar, in that it’s an independent spin-off of another company.
A few years after launching Justin.tv (another video live streaming service, meant primarily to stream live video from your webcam) its founders noticed that the site’s gaming channels always managed to pull in particularly massive numbers. In 2011, they spun the site’s Gaming section into a site of its own — Twitch.tv. By 2014, Twitch had grown so huge that the parent company rebranded itself as Twitch Interactive.
For those who want to keep track: Twitch has raised roughly $35M since becoming an independent company.