Google announced its live streaming gaming service in June, and launched it on Wednesday. The service known as YouTube Gaming, has been introduced to compete with Twitch, which was lost by Google to Amazon last year. Twitch is a video network for watching players play video games.
Limited roll-out for now
YouTube Gaming will start with more than 25,000 games. The videos and live streams of a particular title will be brought together with the help of individual pages for each game on the site. The service will allow users to add games to their collection for quick access, and subscribe to channels. Recommendations will be made to the subscribers based upon the games and channels they follow.
The launch of YouTube gaming is not a huge surprise. Back in June, Google hosted a 12-hour live marathon at E3, which is the world’s biggest videogame conference, and said it will be launching a video game-streaming platform soon.
For easy sharing and replaying, the YouTube Gaming site allow users to stream live game play and record it straight to a YouTube video. Everywhere YouTube is accessible, the English language version of YouTube Gaming will be available. The iOS and the Google Play version is available only in the U.S. and the UK for now, but soon it will be rolled out to more countries.
Google vs. Amazon
Google was among the top bidders for Twitch, but at the last moment Amazon stepped in and acquired Twitch for a massive $970 million, leaving everyone surprised. On Sunday, commenting over the launch of YouTube Gaming, Twitch’s SVP of Marketing, Matthew DiPietro, said they are alert about the launch of YouTube Gaming in the U.S. and U.K., but added that they are far ahead in the race to attract both participants and the viewers, according to a report from GeekWire. That said, Twitch may have a big head start, but Google has a massive user base.
“The opportunity in gaming video is enormous, and others have clearly taken notice. We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished in the last 4 years, but our eyes are on the future,” DiPietro said.
Twitch currently has 1.5 million broadcasters, and 38 million installs of its mobile app. The gaming platform has 100 million viewers per month watching an average of 106 minutes per person per day.