The Washington Post

Meet Twitch, the video-streaming firm Google may buy for $1 billion

Google has reportedly entered into talks to acquire the video-streaming service Twitch for $1 billion. (Courtesy of Twitch)

Google is reportedly in talks to buy the live-streaming video game service, Twitch, for $1 billion, according to a report from Variety.

If true, the reportedly all-cash deal would be the largest-ever acquisition for Google's YouTube video service, which itself was acquired by the tech giant in 2006 for $1.65 billion. YouTube has made a series of acquisitions and investments in its pursuit of becoming a destination for more original, high-quality content, and the report comes just months after Google named former advertising executive Susan Wojcicki to lead the YouTube team.

Twitch and Google declined to comment on the report.

Twitch is a service designed to let video gamers broadcast their games in real-time and has grown enormously in the past few years along with the popularity of "e-sports" -- the term used for broadcasts featuring professional video game players. In a recent article by the Wall Street Journal, Twitch ranked fourth in a ranking of peak Internet traffic in  the U.S. -- ahead of Hulu.

The service was originally part of; the company changed its name to Twitch Interactive in February as a nod to how dominant the live-streaming game service is within the company.

Twitch users made headlines earlier this year when over 120,000 of its players participated in a crowd-controlled game of the first version of Pokemon and beat the title in a little over 16 days. It has also worked out several key partnerships with game companies and game console makers. Those with Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles can stream gameplay from Twitch straight from their consoles, a move that offers the company an opportunity to greatly expand its audience.

Acquiring the service would not only give YouTube stronger footing in the race to court video gamers, but also provide it with a stronger live-streaming tool -- an aspect of programming that YouTube would be smart to strengthen as it looks to compete more heavily with television and other broadcast providers.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
Be a man and cry
Program turns prisoners into poets
Unconventional warfare with a side of ale
Play Videos
The signature dish of Charleston, S.C.
For good coffee, sniff, slurp and spit
The most interesting woman you've never heard of
Play Videos
How to prevent 'e-barrassment'
The art of tortilla-making
A man committed to journalism, caught in the crossfire
Play Videos
Tips for (relatively) stress-free dining out with kids
How to get organized for back to school
How the new credit card chip makes purchases more secure
Next Story
Brian Fung · May 18, 2014

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.