How much would you be willing to pay for a service that allows you to watch other people play video games? Well if you’re Google, the answer is a cool US$1-billion.
Yup, the internet giant is reportedly looking at a deal that would see it take ownership of Twitch.tv, the online video service that allows people to livestream gameplay from their PCs or connected consoles.
According to Variety, the deal is pretty much wrapped up and is likely to be announced in the coming days.
If the deal does go through, the publication points out, it will be Google’s largest play in the video space since it bought YouTube for US$1.65-billion back in 2006.
Others however aren’t so sure about how done and dusted the deal really is. According to the Wall Street Journal, talks are still at an early stage and a deal isn’t imminent.
Even if both parties want a deal to go through though, it’ll most likely face heavy scrutiny from US regulators keen to ensure that it doesn’t damage competitiveness in the online video space.
Founded in 2011, Twitch claims to have around 45-million users with one-million or so members who upload videos every month.
YouTube meanwhile is far and away the most popular online video property on the web, laying claim to more that a billion active users. A buyout of Twitch would therefore raise serious questions about its intentions for the space.
As TechCrunch points out, Twitch has a fairly interesting history.
The company grew out of Justin.tv, a livestreaming service that was primarily designed to allow people to livestream from their webcams. Twitch founders Justin Kan and Emmett Shear noticed how popular the site’s gaming channels were and decided to spin that section into a site of its own.