Variety reports YouTube is gearing up to purchase Twitch, the fourth largest source of Internet traffic in the United States. According to sources familiar with the negotiations, YouTube will acquire Twitch, the largest video game streaming service in the world, for $1 billion.
Twitch is the gaming subset of Justin.tv, launched in 2007 by Justin Kan and Emmett Shear. It allows users to watch and share videos for free and its primary feature is live streaming. Twitch boasts over 43 million viewers a month.
Twitch is heavily involved with e-Sports, providing live coverage and streaming for audiences, similar to ESPN. With the release of the PS4 and Xbox One, Twitch has expanded beyond the PC by offering apps that allow users to stream directly from their consoles.
If YouTube acquires Twitch, it will be the largest purchase in the companies history since it’s acquisition by Google in 2006 for $1.65 billion.
YouTube and Twitch declined to comment on the matter.