Tuesday, May 20, 2014

YouTube buying Twitch is like Facebook buying the Oculus Rift

Unless you have been living under a rock, you'll probably be familiar with reports of YouTube buying out Twitch, a relatively new but popular and growing streaming service designed specifically for video games.

To me, this whole story is turning out much like how the Oculus Rift buyout did. Nobody, and I mean nobody besides Twitch and Google, wanted to make this happen. Out of all the gamers I know personally and even those online I am subscribed to on YouTube, all of them do not like hearing this news. There is a reason why Twitch is getting more usage for game streams than YouTube. One of those reasons is because stream quality is usually better. Another important reason is that you are allowed to play copyrighted music in the stream. If you tried that on YouTube, you'd get a strike. This alone doesn't make use of YouTube for streams appealing.

YouTube is also a massively larger boat. YouTube has hundreds of millions of hours of video uploaded to it each day. Due to that large number of videos, they have to develop systems that can detect copyright infringement via graphic content and audio. Twitch is much smaller than YouTube, and their focus is streams. Their focus is not to store videos, although there is a capability to re-watch previous streams.

Personally, I sincerely hope that the US Department of Justice decides to reject this buyout. Google by itself is already almost like a monopoly in some areas, especially YouTube. The arena for video hosting and other services similar to YouTube needs to expand, not shrink. YouTube is already like a monopoly to start off. Them buying out Twitch just shrinks the arena for competition more and more.

If this deal does go through, I highly doubt that gamers will take this lying down. I can already predict other services like UStream gaining instantly more usage if the merger is approved by the DoJ. YouTube would catch the most amount of hate from the entire gaming community then I'd ever think possible.

Let me know what you all think in the comments. I'm interested in hearing opinions that both constructively support and oppose mine :)