It was revealed today by Variety that YouTube may be purchasing Twitch for $1 billion, and naturally, the Internet exploded.
Just like when Ben Affleck was cast as the next Batman, nothing announced online is ever taken well, which is why I refuse to jump to the conclusion that “TWITCH IS DEAD”. Let’s all calm down for a moment, shall we?
The current affairs
Let’s take a quick look at the current affairs of both services.
YouTube’s streaming service: Poor, at best.
YouTube’s gaming presence: An absolute mess.
Twitch’s streaming service: Aside from lack of bandwidth, very strong.
Twitch’s gaming presence: Fantastic! (queue the 9th Doctor)
With YouTube lacking in the gaming department, bringing on a service like Twitch can only make it stronger, by one, improving or replacing YouTube’s mediocre streaming service, and two, by strengthening YouTube’s gaming presence. This does not indicate that Twitch is dead. For all we know, Twitch may continue operations as it has been, powered by new hardware. An acquisition does not necessarily mean the two services will become one.
It’s no secret that YouTube users are faced with a ton of copyright issues, but let’s remember one thing – it’s not completely YouTube’s fault. YouTube needs to comply with all copyright claims that they are presented with. YouTube, themselves, doesn’t take down videos because they like watching content creators cry.
Twitch, on the other hand, hasn’t faced so many issues. There are a few reasons for this.
- Twitch is smaller, but growing. Copyright issues are surely just around the corner, with YouTube in the mix or not.
- Twitch has very strong agreements with game developers, which YouTube does not currently have.
So yes, if YouTube purchased Twitch, some streams may be subject to copyright issues, but those will likely be the streams that play copyright music, which would have hit Twitch streams at some point, anyways. (Holy, run-on sentence)
On the plus side, YouTube would also be acquiring the licenses and technology that Twitch already has in place, which would give YouTube a fantastic base to build up a solid streaming service, or to simply improve Twitch as it is now.
Remember the latest round of gaming channels being hit with copyright claims? This could be potentially be avoided with the help of the Twitch acquisition.
The elephant in the room is the feared integration of Google+, which caused many uproars. The good news, is that YouTube seems to be serious about backing away from forced integration, so you likely won’t need to “Sign in with Google+” in order to comment on Twitch. 😉
Sure, it’s very easy to lose your shit, especially when a major company like YouTube/Google is rumored to be purchasing a service that you know and love, but don’t jump to conclusions right away. Google has purchased many services over the years that have been drastically improved thanks to new funding and resources.
YouTube knows that the online gaming scene is huge, and they know that Twitch is ahead of the game (no pun intended). If this acquisition goes through, I see very good things in the pipeline for not only online game streaming, but for YouTube’s platform, as well.
What are your thoughts? Leave your comments below!