Google is going to announce a new YouTube-branded live video streaming service with an emphasis on gaming, according to the British newspaper The Guardian on Wednesday citing a scoop by tech blog The Daily Dot.
The Internet giant is reportedly prepping to introduce its live-streaming service under the YouTube Live moniker. YouTube Live will apparently relaunch later this year, re-focused on game streaming and e-sports.
Such turn of events wasn’t entirely unexpected. A year ago, Google wanted to buy Twitch but has failed to seal the deal and got outbid by Amazon, which paid a cool $1 billion for the popular game-streaming service.
Google wants to ensure that the new service will attract gamers and has reportedly hired 50 engineers with experience in streaming technology to help build the forthcoming platform.
The search firm will also partner with major e-sports events which will provide premium content on YouTube Live. The report doesn’t say when a rebranded YouTube Live might relaunch.
“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 organizations soon,” a source told Daily Dot.
With its strong focus on gaming, I suspect the company could make an announcement at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in June.
Even though YouTube is the world’s most popular destination for sharing user-generated video — one billion people watch hundreds of millions of hours of YouTube content every day — it’s failed to take off in terms of becoming the #1 destination for in-game action streaming.
YouTube’s top ten gaming channels were watched 2.2 billion times in January 2015, but most of the clips are pre-recorded and not live-streamed like on Twitch.
Twitch, for example, by mid-2013 had an average of 43 million live viewers per month. By February 2014, the service was considered the fourth largest source of peak Internet traffic in the United States.
In September 2014, Amazon bought Twitch for $970 million.