YouTube Moves Back Into Gaming With Twitch Replica

On Friday, YouTube revealed YouTube Gaming, an app and website debuting this summer that’s positioning itself as “the biggest community of gamers,” as well as the destination for videos and live streams.

Many consider YouTube Gaming to be Google’s alternative for Twitch, an Amazon-owned live streaming video platform that Google tried to purchase last summer. And while advertising opportunities on the app may still be unclear, industry players seem to be capitalizing on growing gaming audiences so this will be good news for them, as well as YouTube itself.

“YouTube is very smartly aggregating its content in this area into one property with an improved user experience, and this should help YouTube to better monetize those users and video views,” says Rich Guest, president of Tribal Worldwide’s North America operations.

“I read that there are 183 million people in the U.S. who play video games at least an hour per day. That’s a large community,” Guest comments.

The YouTube Gaming site will have individual pages for more than 25,000 games. Engineers at Google have tweaked the site’s search engine to cater to video game players. For example, if a gamer types in the word “call,” the search bar will suggest the game “Call of Duty,” instead of the music video “Call Me Maybe.”

Perhaps because of the fierce competition, one single media company has yet to dominate the gaming space.

Google’s competitors are making big pushes in video games, as well. Last Thursday, Facebook-owned Oculus Rift announced a deal with Microsoft, where the virtual reality device would come with an Xbox One controller and Xbox adapter. Oculus Rift will also allow users to play a catalog of games for the Xbox One console.

“I see Amazon, YouTube, and others competing to become the dominant media brand in the gaming space. As big as the gaming audience is today, there really isn’t an equivalent of ESPN in the space,” Guest notes.

To make the platform stand out, the YouTube Gaming team is redesigning the system where users will be able to convert live streams into a YouTube video and share their streams via one single link.

This week, YouTube is also hoping to gauge the gaming community’s interest in the platform at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), the world’s largest video game trade show.

In the coming weeks, YouTube will launch an improved live experience to make it simpler for gamers to broadcast their gameplay on the platform.


Homepage image via YouTube.

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