Reports: Google in talks to buy top game-broadcasting site Twitch

|By:, SA News Editor

Variety reports Google (GOOG), via YouTube, has reached a deal to buy Twitch, a site that lets users live-stream their PC/Xbox/PlayStation gameplay, for over $1B in cash. But the WSJ reports Google's talks with Twitch are still "at an early stage;" the paper provides no acquisition price.

Twitch claims 45M+ monthly users, including over 1M who upload/stream videos, sometimes for widely-watched competitive events. The company claims its broadcaster count tripled in 2013, and that its average user watches 95 minutes/day.

Twitch also has a partner network of 4K+ content providers - it typically shares ad revenue with them - and integration deals with various game developers. Its user base skews heavily towards the 18-34 demographic whose love of online video has drawn the attention of advertisers.

Variety's sources state YouTube (1B+ MAUs) is prepping for a regulatory challenge to the Twitch deal. The online video giant is no stranger to hosting live game broadcasts, but its market share is well below Twitch's.

The reports come as top YouTube content providers such as Maker Studios and Fullscreen receive M&A interest from media giants.

Update: The Verge reports Google is close to a $1B deal for Twitch, and that it beat out Microsoft and other would-be suitors.