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I have been streaming three days a week on Twitch and have amassed a good following since starting live game streaming in March of 2013. Being a big fan of the platform I learned yesterday that the website is being sold to YouTube (Google) in a $1 billion dollar deal. Is this a good move or will the merger destroy the Twitch brand?
Twitch has been growing and growing significantly since I first started watching streams a few years back. It was recently recognized as the 4th most viewed website across America and with a solid business plan looks like a great investment for any company. There were rumors of a merger with Microsoft but the recent mutterings indicate that Google have taken front running to acquire the game streaming site.
Twitch for those who don’t know is a website where users can sign up and stream their video games live online. It plays host to some of the biggest gaming tournaments worldwide including the League of Legends world championship, the Counter Strike championships and Starcraft 2 tournaments among many more. The bigger tournaments often attract 100,000 viewers in a single tournament which offers great revenue for sponsors and the participants alike. Twitch also gives games developers a great chance to show off early captures of their games to try and get a feel of how the community see it before it gets related. It also gives viewers a chance to have a watch of their favorite games to get tips and tricks on how to play or for people wanting to get a game having a first glimpse of it and read the streamers’ opinion. Twitch gives users a great chance to interact with like minded people and form relationships which is another reason the brand has become so successful.
The recent news that Twitch is going to be bought by Google has had mixed opinion. Buying YouTube really dented the Google brand and the whole Google+ integration really angered veteran YouTubers who much preferred the old format and setup. I’m really hoping that Google doesn’t make the same mistake with Twitch and means you have to “add to circles” to follow Twitch users. I also hope they don’t make streaming go through the YouTube site and keep everything external like it is now. Integrating YouTube and Twitch subscribers may be a good idea and for the bigger streamers who also YouTube, this may be a great way of integrating their social platforms so that they can easily share their media when they aren’t online or are streaming.
Only time will tell whether the merger will be successful I just hope they don’t plaster the Google brand over twitch which as been so successful in the recent 24 months. It is still yet to be confirmed if the sale is 100% happening, but it can only lead to a bigger future for Twitch as more money with most undoubtedly be added to the streaming platform.