Live gaming service set to pick Google over rival bids
Google has reportedly made a $1 billion bid for Twitch, the live gaming service that lets users stream footage of their efforts from their computer, Xbox or Playstation.
If completed, the deal would be reminiscent of Google's 2006 purchase of YouTube for $1.65 billion. It would most likely also mean that Twitch would be incorporated into YouTube in some way.
Twitch launched in 2011, and claims that 1 million users upload videos of their gaming exploits each month. A total of 45 million per month interact with the service in various ways, either by watching clips or commenting on someone's efforts.
It already enjoys higher peak traffic than big hitters such as Amazon, Hulu and Facebook, and Google will hope that this continues once Twitch and YouTube begin working in tandem.
It is thought that Twitch has received several offers, including one from Microsoft, but sees Google as the most attractive deal.
Google hoping to capitalise on LP popularity
One of the key advantages Twitch offers is its popularity with fans of 'Let's Play' (LP) videos, in which a gamer uploads a video or series of images documenting their journey through a game, providing commentary that can include hints, tips and Easter Eggs for fellow players.
LP videos are already thriving on YouTube too, with gaming channel PewDiePie making headlines recently after garnering more views than traditional fan favourites such as Katy Perry and Justin Bieber.
Combining the two has the potential to place Google at the forefront of this rapidly emerging phenomenon, and may see gaming mount a serious challenge to music as the dominant force when it comes to YouTube videos.
Adrian Mursec, head of development at theEword, said: "It is easy to see why both parties are so keen on this deal. While the sums involved do not quite reach the heights of Facebook and WhatsApp, tapping into the gaming market could prove to be a very smart move for Google."