YouTube Pondering Acquisition of Video Game Livestreaming Company Twitch for $1 Billion

Eric Johnson, writing for Recode:

Twitch is a fast-growing service that lets people — mostly men — watch livestreams of other people — mostly men — playing videogames.

And it is booming: When Twitch started up in June 2011, it claimed five million users a month. In 2012, it was up to 20 million. By the end of last year, that number had jumped to 45 million. Broadband service provider Sandvine says Twitch now accounts for 1.35 percent of Internet traffic during peak hours in North America. That’s more than HBO Go’s 1.24 percent.

My 10-year-old son loves watching videos of people playing video games. I thought this was odd at first, in a grumpy dad “These kids today…” way. Then last week, while watching my beloved New York Yankees for the umpteenth time this year, it hit me: there’s nothing different about watching video of one sort of game (video) than another (sports). I watch hundreds of hours of baseball every year.

Tricia Duryee, writing at GeekWire, calls Twitch “the ESPN of the video game industry”, which I think captures the potential opportunity here perfectly.

Monday, 19 May 2014

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