Google remains silent on $1B Twitch deal reports

Google is remaining tight-lipped about unconfirmed reports it has signed a deal to buy video game streaming platform Twitch for US$1 billion.
Written by Leon Spencer, Contributor

Google and Twitch are both remaining silent over a report today that the search giant has signed a US$1 billion deal to acquire the video game streaming platform.

A report on VentureBeat by Dean Takahasi said that "sources familiar with the matter" had confirmed that Google has signed a deal for Twitch, although details about the exact price were unknown. Reports indicate that Google's YouTube division is in charge of the rumoured acquisition.

The VentureBeat report follows an earlier article by Todd Spangler on entertainment publication Variety's website in May, which said that Google had reached a preliminary deal to purchase Twitch in an all-cash purchase of more than US$1 billion, "according to sources familiar with the pact".

At the time, The Wall Street Journal delivered its own take on the rumours, reporting that the two companies were in "early talks" about the possibility of a deal.

At the time of writing, neither Google nor Twitch had commented on today's report.

A spokesperson for Google Australia told ZDNet today that the company could not provide any comment relating to the rumours.

If an acquisition deal has been signed between the two companies, it would position Google as the web's undisputed video streaming leader, with YouTube — which it bought for US$1.65 billion in 2006 — claiming the number one spot for internet video, dishing out more than 6 billion hours of video per month to 1 billion users globally.

Twitch's estimated 50 million monthly active user tally and 1.1 million membership footprint pales in comparison to YouTube's global capture, but Google's interest in the site suggests no small amount of confidence in the growing potential of video game streaming platforms.

Twitch was launched in June 2011 by Justin Kan and Emmett Shear — co-founders of Justin.tv — and has so far raised about US$35 million in funding. It allows users to watch free live gameplay videos, with its one million members also uploading videos each month.

Additionally, Twitch distributes shows from gaming site partners such as CBS Interactive’s GameSpot, Joystiq, and Destructoid.

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