The world of video game streaming might have a major shakeup on the horizon. Last year, YouTube owner Google was rumored to be buying Twitch, a popular streaming site primarily used for video games. According to Forbes, this would have been potentially a $1 billion deal, as Google was looking to either integrate Twitch into YouTube or leave Twitch mostly the same in order to freeze out the competition. Twitch was ultimately bought out by Amazon instead.
One year later, Google has announced that they’re expanding YouTube’s streaming options. After Amazon bought Twitch, Google must’ve seen the money coming in and decided they wanted a slice of that pie. According to various sources, including TechGraphs, Google now is aimed at expanding YouTube’s “Let’s Play” section into a more viable and profitable program similar to Twitch.
Details are still sparse at this point, but according to the Daily Dot and the Niche Gamer, YouTube has already hired at least 50 engineers for this new project. The current word is that at this year’s E3, Google will make a firm announcement about the streaming service. This is all of course subject to change and YouTube could get cold feet on the entire idea, but from the outside peering in, a streaming investment makes sound financial sense.
Boobies And Business Sense
Now, here is where things can get a bit interesting. Twitch has already begun cracking down on users with cleavage, but if Google creates its own streaming service, it could take an approach similar to what they did with “reply girls.” These were YouTubers that simply showed a lot of cleavage and replied to popular videos. YouTube tried a variety of algorithms to curb traffic to these users, but after failing repeatedly, they eventually just did away with the video reply feature. While video replies weren’t removed solely to curb the popularity of reply girls, it definitely played a role in doing so.
Now, Google isn’t stupid. While they know what people really care about when they search for videos, they still need to stay “respectable.” So what they’re likely to do is slash the ad revenue of channels they deem “cheesecake heavy.” This is a solution I’m personally okay with. You let the fans who want to see the cleavage and sexy girls doing video game streams watch their favorite channels, and the other viewers will go to other channels they prefer. Everyone wins, and considering that the more “sexy” channels usually have a high number of subscribers and/or sell merchandise, it’s unlikely to hurt their revenue.
Whatever the future holds, I think it makes perfect sense for YouTube to go into the streaming business. Most of the time I log onto YouTube, it’s to watch a Let’s Play video or commentary-free gameplay footage. It’s important to remember that competition drives innovation, which benefits everyone. Considering that Twitch has never worked smoothly for me and YouTube does, I welcome increased competition between the two sites.
I just hope the cleavage will stay intact.