YouTube to Relaunch Live-Streaming Service with Focus on eSports and Gaming
This article originally appeared in The Daily Dot
By Richard Lewis
YouTube is preparing to relaunch its live-streaming platform with a renewed focus on live gaming and eSports specifically, according to sources within the streaming industry.
The Google-owned online video behemoth, which tried and failed to acquire streaming giant Twitch last year, has watched the growth of eSports with great interest and is looking to acquire broadcast content and talent within the industry.
“Gaming and eSports in particular are going to be a big driving force for the new-look YouTube Live,” one source said. “There’ll be huge opportunities for established streamers and organizations soon and I would say that the record numbers of eSports viewers are only going to grow when Google start promoting and partnering with these events.”
YouTube began experimenting with live-streaming in 2010, broadcasting cricket matches from the Indian Premier League, bragging at the time that these were the first free online broadcast of a major sporting event. Since then, however, the site’s live-streaming arm hasn’t really lived up to early expectations, outside of a few marquee events. And in early 2014, YouTube removed any mention of live events from its homepage.
Much of YouTube’s live content has long been dominated by foreign language news, obscure sports events, or hastily assembled Hangouts sessions. A new approach has been long overdue. So when Variety announced that Google was in talks to acquire the gaming streaming platform Twitch for $1 billion last summer, many assumed this would be the company’s next step in the streaming business. When that deal fell through, allegedly due to “antitrust concerns,” Amazon swooped in.
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