With March Madness in full swing, and millions of viewers turning to online streaming to watch the games, YouTube’s newest announcement could not have come at a better time. According to TheDailyDot, the Google-owned worldwide video sharing service has decided it will relaunch its live streaming platform, and will place emphasis on live gaming and eSports.
This won’t be the first time that YouTube endeavored to make eSports a focal point. In 2010, YouTube made an effort to bring viewers live
streams of cricket matched from the Indian Premier League. To YouTube’s credit, they were thinking ahead of their time as far as free online sports streaming goes—at least on paper. Much of the subsequent live content was inclusive of award events, speeches, foreign language broadcasts and sporting events that Americans would find even more obscure than cricket. The project was a failure for the most part, and by 2014, live streaming ceased to exist as an offer on the homepage.
This time around, YouTube is recruiting a team of highly-experience engineers and other experts to get wheels spinning, balls rolling and engines roaring over live streaming. The foreseeable obstacle to this endeavor is Amazon-owned Twitch, which YouTube had previously tried and failed to bring under its umbrella. Despite being only four years in the making, Twitch is the only real player in the field of live streaming of eSports.
And it’s not all about sports for YouTube. In fact, the live streaming efforts are expected be announced in greater detail at the E3 gaming expo in June, which means the efforts will most likely be targeted largely toward gamers. Once again, Twitch already has its hands on the controls here. Run a quick search for “live gaming,” and they’re still number one in the results.
The question going forward is what features and content can YouTube provide customers that Twitch can’t? Or will be more about user interface? We’ll just have to wait until June to find out.
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