Just a few short months ago it was reported that Amazon had purchased the massively popular Twitch, which allows gamers to stream what they are playing to an audience and had managed to achieve massive popularity in a very short time span.
However, the little bit of information that many of these reports forgot the mention was that Amazon’s main opposition in the bidding war for Twitch was the mighty Google, with the company likely aiming to make the service part of YouTube so that they could continue their efforts to take over the online world.
Amazon won that hotly contested battle, but Google aren’t beaten so easily. Unsurprisingly, the company had now launched YouTube Gaming to take on Twitch directly. Does it really have a chance, or is Twitch now so established that Google are barking up the wrong tree with this one?
It is important to remember that, although Twitch has become one of the go-to names for online game streaming, YouTube has played host to plenty of gaming videos in the past. That means there is an enormous back catalogue of content for Google to pore through, with the choicest of videos likely going onto YouTube Gaming in an effort to get people interested in more than just the live streams.
This means that Google can compete with Twitch using something that is already directly established, which will be useful in the early months when they are trying to convince Twitch users to make the switch.
On the flipside, Twitch is now so well-established that many of the regulars that are capable of drawing in thousands of viewers may not be willing to make the jump. The early figures on some of YouTube Gaming’s live streams seem to indicate that this is the way the battle is currently going, though you have to wonder what sort of effect the older content ported over from YouTube will have in the long run.
Google vs Amazon. While not as hotly contested a war as the one between Google and Apple, the companies are in direct competition on a number of fronts, with Google offering its own shopping channel and both companies operating a streaming movie service.
However, in both cases there are key differences between the two company’s services that make them both worth exploring. With YouTube Gaming it really does seem like Google are trying to do little more than be Twitch in an effort to get people to stop using Twitch. That’s going to be a tall order for any company, even one that can exercise the sort of influence that Google has.
Amazon, on the other hand, don’t have to do a lot to convince people to use Twitch at this moment in time. The brand is already established and there doesn’t seem to be a mass exodus of users to Google’s new service. As long as they continue to innovate and don’t fall into a pattern of playing follow the leader by allowing Google to do the innovating for them, there is really no reason that both Twitch and YouTube Gaming can’t coexist and it is more than possible that Twitch will end up on top.
Lee Price is a freelance writer and general miscreant who enjoys video games, movies and making dreary situations better by adding copious amounts of alcohol. Follow him on Twitter @Mr_Lee2112 to read his random musings.