Google Reportedly Agrees to Buy Twitch for $1 Billion

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Google Reportedly Agrees to Buy Twitch for $1 Billion
According to a report, Google has agreed to buy game live-streaming service Twitch for $1 billion. The YouTube team is said to be handling the acquisition, as integration of the Twitch live-streaming service would entail myriad changes in the Google-owned video-sharing service's model.

The VentureBeat report, which quotes sources familiar with the matter to report the development, says both Google and Twitch declined to comment on if the deal was real. The report also says most details are uncertain as of now, such as when the deal would be announced by the companies, and what the exact terms of the deal are.

The deal, if real, would of course highlight the growing importance of live-streaming, specifically the live-streaming of gameplay, something that Google and YouTube appear to have realised. Apart from the streaming of e-sport competitions or matches, a lot of tutorial-style streaming is also creating a following.

It will be interesting to see what form the reported deal takes; whether the very popular Twitch would continue as a standalone service, or be brought completely into the fold under the YouTube banner, perhaps as the YouTube Twitch service. Would gamers abandon the service due to stricter policies, is another question on many people's lips.

The report further cites people familiar with the matter to claim Twitch's investors are more than happy with the terms of the deal, getting healthy returns on their investments. Google has been expected to buy Twitch for a while, with reports as far back as May talking about a potential deal. Google had then refused to comment on the deal.

Notably, in June, Twitch had integrated YouTube to its service in a novel way, introducing Live Annotations. Assuming the Twitch live-stream hosts have their own YouTube channels, the feature would be quite handy, displaying a pop-up across all of the channel owner's YouTube videos as soon as the linked user's live stream begins on Twitch. Users who are watching the YouTube videos will be alerted, and can click on the annotation to directly jump to the channel owner's live streaming Twitch video.

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