Google acquired YouTube in 2006 for $1.65 billion, and now Variety is reporting that YouTube has reached a deal to buy videogame-streaming service Twitch for more than $1 billion. Of course, even if the report is true, none of this will happen unless the U.S. Justice Department approves of the deal. YouTube is already the #1 platform for Internet video, with 1 billion users worldwide per month. Twitch claims to have more than 45 million users per month and has deals to distribute shows from several sites, like GameSpot, Joystiq, and Destructoid.
While the monthly userbase may seem quite small compared to YouTube, Twitch has been on the rise, nearly tripling its downstream bandwidth from last fall to March of this year (0.46% to 1.35%). The introduction of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One surely played a large part in the growth, as both support live-streaming directly to Twitch. Meanwhile, YouTube downstream bandwidth actually decreased during that same time period from 18.6% to 13.2%; still significantly more than Twitch, but the downward trend is a bit alarming considering Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and Hulu all saw increases. With live-streaming video games increasing in popularity, YouTube may be seeking to reverse its trend by acquiring Twitch.