Google is reportedly mulling a bid for Twitch for $1bn to link popular video game streaming service to its YouTube video network.
US-based Twitch lets users stream live gameplay videos from desktop computers, as well as Microsoft Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4, which both allow players to upload their own videos direct from the living room.
The three-year old site apparently turned down an offer from Microsoft in favour of a deal from Google, which wants to merge Twitch and its 45 million users with YouTube.
Twitch recently made headlines as the host of Twitch Plays Pokémon, a social experiment where over 100,000 people simultaneously played a single instance of Pokémon. And the site is so popular that direct streaming has even been integrated into the PS4 and Xbox One.
While YouTube is indisputably the largest pre-recorded video site on the Internet, Twitch is the leader among the Web’s largest live-streaming video sites.
The deal would be the biggest for YouTube since its purchase by Google in 2006 for $1.65bn.
Twitch has already surpassed Facebook, Amazon and US TV streaming service Hulu in peak traffic, according to infrastructure firm DeepField.
The startup raised $20m from investors in 2013, including game publisher Take-Two Interactive, which publishes the Grand Theft Auto series of games among others.