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Google’s Getting Ready to Twitch

It’s been a crazy week for acquisitions. Last week, we were reading about Apple acquiring the headphone giant, Beats, and this week seems to be playing out with more of the same. AT&T officially announced that it’s going to buy DirecTV, and the newest on the bandwagon is Google/YouTube’s plan to buy Twitch.

If you haven’t heard of Twitch, chances are you aren’t a gamer. Twitch is a social media platform for people who love video games, and one of its most popular features is the ability to live-stream other gamers who are playing.

Photo credit: TechCrunch

It might sound strange to some (many of you are likely thinking, “Who wants to watch other people play video games?”). However, people like to spend hours of time watching others play games of a sporting nature. There are a myriad of reasons why Twitch has taken off: some simply find it entertaining to watch highly skilled players, while others may be looking for techniques to better their own skills.

Whatever the reason for Twitch’s popularity, this will hands down be the most significant acquisition in the history of YouTube, which itself was acquired by Google in 2006. But why would Google be interested in video gaming?

  • YouTube is interested in everything. YouTube already has a number of live-streaming channels, covering games, music, sports, and news. Remember Felix Baumgartner, who did the jump from space? Yes, that was being live-streamed on YouTube. Gaming is tame in comparison.
  • YouTube has much to learn in terms of engagement. While YouTube (and Netflix) are still ahead of Twitch when it comes to overall streaming, there’s not nearly the amount of consumer interaction with YouTube as compared to Twitch. The live part of live-streaming is important.
  • Advertising, anybody? Viewers will sit around for hours watching Twitch streams. YouTube tends to be consumed in far smaller chunks. If you were an advertiser, which would look more attractive? Additionally, YouTube has been struggling to raise the cost of its ads, since there are numerous videos for advertisers to choose from. Twitch would help remedy this concern.

Remaining informed on what’s going on in acquisitions can be significant to internet marketers, as we need to keep abreast of entertainment to appropriately strategize marketing efforts. Let us know: would you consider advertising on Twitch?