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Google's YouTube has reportedly offered to buy the popular streaming service Twitch for more then a billion dollars.
The deal is expected to be announced soon, according to Variety.
This would be YouTube's largest acquisition since they were bought out by Google in 2006. YouTube is far and away the leading provider of video content on the Internet, so they are undoubtedly preparing for the scrutiny of U.S. regulators, who will likely see this as a major blow to competition.
Twitch is a streaming service aimed exclusively at people who love video games, and over 45 million gamers visit the site every month according to their Facebook page. It offers both live streaming and on-demand content, most of which are broadcasts of tournaments, or the ever-popular “Let’s Play” — which is essentially an individual filming themselves playing a video game and offering colored commentary.
Despite serving a niche, Twitch has quickly been growing rapidly as the largest streaming service on the web — even larger then HBO’s streaming service HBO GO, reports Sandvine. After the viral hit of the social experiment called “Twitch Plays Pokémon” — a stream that allowed each of it’s over 80,000 viewers to control the game at the same time by typing various commands — Twitch has even gained some recognition from the non-gaming public.
As video games continue to grow as the largest entertainment market in the U.S., so too will the Twitch community. Time will tell if YouTube will be able to nurture that growth.