YouTube Gaming gets its promised summer launch tomorrow, putting it in a head-to-head battle with the Amazon-owned living Twitch, now widely-considered to be the preeminent streaming platform for gamers.
YouTube Gaming’s English-language website will be available in any country where YouTube is available. The phone and tablet app from Google Play and the App Store will roll out in the morning in the U.S. and U.K., with other countries to follow soon.
YouTube Gaming will automatically pull in all gaming-related videos and live streams on YouTube from over 25,000 game pages. Users will get personalized gaming recommendations based on the games and channels they collect. YouTube Gaming will be getting a promotional push at PAX Prime in Seattle this weekend, where it will be live streaming a show hosted by GameSpot, IGN and Rooster Teeth.
For industry insiders, the competition to watch is the one between YouTube and Twitch.
In September 2014, Amazon paid $970 million to buy Twitch, which was also reportedly being eyed as an acquisition by YouTube parent company Google. YouTube responded by re-launching its live streaming platform in the spring of 2015 with a renewed focus on live gaming and eSports
Last month, a report released by SuperData found that while Twitch received significantly less traffic than YouTube (14 million monthly visitors, according to Quantcast, versus YouTube’s 180 million), it manages to capture 43% of the $3.8 billion in total annual revenue generated by the gaming vertical, while YouTube nabs 36%. The balance goes to eSports streaming platforms including Major League Gaming and eSports gambling sites such as Unikrn.
In the wake of the news of YouTube Gaming’s launch, Twitch took the opportunity to boast of its current stats — 1.5 million broadcasters (11K Partnered channels), 100 million viewers per month who watch 106 minutes per person per day on average, and 38 million installs of our mobile app with 4.7 billion minutes watched across 10.3 million unique devices. Last Sunday, it set a concurrent viewership milestone when it had more than 2 million concurrent viewers on the platform simultaneously, many of whom logged on to watch ESL One: Cologne 2015 and the League Of Legends’ NA LCS Finals.
“The opportunity in gaming video is enormous, and others have clearly taken notice,” said Matthew DiPietro, SVP of marketing, in a statement. “We have a very ambitious and long-term product road map, some of which will be revealed in the coming weeks and months, particularly at TwitchCon, where we’ll have the chance to catch up in person with some of our most prolific partners, and their legions of fans.”