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!