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YouTube is preparing to take on streaming giant Twitch with the relaunch of their live streaming platform, which will have a new focus on gaming and esports according to sources with the industry.

Google, who owns the video content leader YouTube, attempted to acquire Twitch in May of 2014 but ultimately did not due to antitrust concerns. Shortly afterwards, the streaming service was acquired by Amazon, but Daily Dot says sources claim that YouTube has been interested in live game streaming ever since.

Although the leader in recorded video sharing and content, YouTube hasn’t been highly successful thus far at live video streaming. In 2010, the site began testing a live video service, which showed off a live U2 concert as well as Indian Premier League cricket. In the end, the platform failed to gain traction, and YouTube has since stopped actively working on developing and promoting it. Twitch TV, on the other hand, leads the streaming market by focusing on video game content and boasts 100 million monthly viewers on top of being the central place to find all big eSports events.

The new service, which is being called “YouTube Live” is thought to be focusing on gaming, which puts it in direct competition with Twitch. A source told Daily Dot: “Gaming and eSports in particular are going to be a big driving force for the new-look YouTube Live. There’ll be huge opportunities for established streamers and organisations soon.” It’s worth noting that YouTube has already stepped into the eSports streaming world, by broadcasting the League of Legends Championship Series since 2013 – but that deal isn’t an exclusive for them and the majority of watchers still frequent Twitch and some of the smaller competitors such as Hitbox and Azubu.

YouTube has already begun recruiting talented team members to build up this new service, with one source reporting that over 50 engineers with expertise in the streaming industry have been hired thus far. With reports that Twitch plans to move onto other areas such as music, this is the perfect time for Google to jump into live streaming if they don’t want to fall too far behind Twitch.

Despite Twitch having a head start, YouTube’s hiring of experienced engineers will help them leverage an already established user base of more than 1 billion users who watch hundreds of millions of hours of video every day as they seek to compete. Throw in the vast array of talent and personalities who already create content for millions of subscribers, such as TotalBiscuit, PewDiePie, Boogie, and more – and the new streaming service may just have a chance to thrive. While many of these talented content producers create well-edited daily and weekly videos, some are already streaming on Twitch as well. Should YouTube be able to nail down a solid platform, there’s a good chance you’ll see it used, but whether or not Twitch users will migrate to the new service is still to be seen.

According to the Daily Dot, YouTube plans on making an announcement about its live streaming plans at E3 this June.

Source: Daily Dot

What do you think of this news? Do you use Twitch or Hitbox? Would you switch to YouTube Live? Sound off in the comments below!

Rutledge Daugette

Founder & CEO

Founder of TechRaptor with a love of video games (B.S. in Game Programming) and technology. Started TechRaptor to create a place where people could come for quality content.

  • Hopefully they don’t enforce that copyright bullshit they’ve been doing to regular videos onto the live ones. That’s one of the reasons why people got nervous last year when Google tried to buy Twitch.

  • Cytos Lpagtr

    they will have to step up there game to at least stand toe to toe with what twitch can do (eg: ways to control the chat while you are streaming, besides doing nothing or an outright ban). they will also need to protect there creators better then they are doing now.
    a DMCA claim can take down a vid and then you have to counter it, and until you do, you can make no money of that vid. this is guilty until proven innocent, and if you are streaming something, and your stream gets taken down for a (sometimes even false, or just plain dumb) DMCA claim, it would srsly fuck up your game plan. considering some of these streams take quite a bit of setup and organising.. well YT needs to change there shit if they want this to take off.

    there have been plenty of examples of abuse, simply because it is so easy to do. people who’s vids get taken down because of a claim on eg music, that they are perfectly allowed to use! or even music they made themselves! this means countless violations that go unpunished. youtube needs to a healthy dose of fair use

  • Ryan Juel

    Given their archaic copyright structure, I wish them the best of luck. They’re going to have an uphill battle to regain the goodwill they trashed.

  • SirBittle

    Those “toxic” gamers… Too bad we make these sites so much money. This is a good thing from what I can tell, anyway. Competition is good. Capitalism, man.

  • Nick

    I have a feeling that current streamers wont switch from twitch specifically because of the takedown request stuff they already have to deal with on youtube.