Four days before this year’s E3, YouTube announced that it had serious plans related to the gaming industry. On June 12, it announced its own live video-game-streaming service very similar to Amazon’s Twitch, also known as the “YouTube for video games.”
The new service will be dubbed YouTube Gaming and is slated for the official launch today, though YouTube didn’t provide an official date for its release. Video game enthusiasts would be able to access the site from their web browsers and mobile phones. YouTube gaming will run on both Android and iOS.
Google’s YouTUbe has been planning take a deep plunge into video gaming since last year, when it negotiated to buy Twitch but lost to Amazon. Google declined to reveal why the deal fell through, but most likely it had something to do with antitrust issues. The web search giant already owns the world’s largest video streaming site, YouTube, so getting its hands on the world’s largest video streaming site for gamers would have been too much.
Google, however, planned to buy Twitch for $1 billion. But the final winner was Amazon who acquired it for $970 million.
Twitch currently has nearly 60 million users, and more than 16 billion minutes of game-related videos. On average, a Twitch user spends more than 100 minutes watching or streaming videos on the site. On Twitch you can either watch what other stream when playing their favorite video games or set you own account and start streaming.
You can do that either to show off your impressive gaming skills, to teach others how to play certain games, or do some extra cash if your videos are interesting enough to gather enough viewers.
Twitch has an impressive traffic in peak hours. A recent report showed that the site accounts for two percent of overall web traffic in North America. Only Google and Netflix fare better than that. Twitch is even more popular than Hulu. Moreover, the site also accounts for 40 percent of all live streaming on the Internet.
So, no wonder YouTube is trying to enter the business. According to the company, YouTube Gaming would have over 25,000 web pages stuffed with video games to watch. Plus the site would be separate from the original YouTube and have a gamer-friendly design. Plus search results on the site would favor games to other content.
The site has been prepping for this launch since earlier this year when it rolled out 60 fps video quality for live streaming on YouTube. Initially, YouTube Gaming will be only available in the U.S. and U.K., but there are plans to make it available in ohter parts of the world soon.
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