I Twitch at the possible purchase by Youtube


Rumours are abound that Youtube (and therefore Google) are looking to buy Twitch. For those of you that don’t know, Twitch is a video streaming site specifically for streaming video games. It is used by the biggest games companies, like Valve and Riot Games, right through to the individual gamer streaming his Counterstrike games. It has been used to raise money for good causes, by people to make money and to broadcast tournaments with million dollar plus prize funds. Hell you can even stream straight to Twitch on your PS4.

I find myself in a similar state of mind as when Occulus was brought by Facebook. Should I be concerned about this purchase? Humm again I have to think yes. The obvious concern is that two of the biggest video sources on the internet will be owned by the same company. This is a concern shared by others, apparently, as the monopolies commision could potentially stop the sale. If it goes through it would put Google in a position to control a huge chunk of the streaming market. I dread to think about the linked advertising you would see (twitch is not exactly advertisement free as it is). Can you imagine doing a google search for, erm barbecues, and a few hours later the Starcraft stream you are watching full of ads for B&Q.

Actually advertising is probably Googles interest in Twitch. All sorts of people watch youtube from little kids to grannies. However twitch is brilliant for getting at a target audience that is increasing shying away from traditional marketing sources like newspapers and TV. I am of course talking about that late teens to early thirties section. Basically the advertorial sweet-spot. I would assume that Google thinks that the revenue that Twitch could bring in would more than cover the costs.

The other concern is that, following the ongoing issues Youtube has cause, with using real names and constant copyright claims. Obviously Twitch is chock full of people playing games that are intellectual properties they don’t own. So if Youtube carries across some of the same regulations, then twitch users could be shut out from streaming games they have purchased. This would be particularly problematic for people making money from streams, like pro gamers and women with big, erm, assets. I think twitch have done well on their own, and unlike Facebook’s purchase of Occulus, all I see are potential downsides but no potential upsides.

Twitter : @Hangmansj0e

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