Earlier today a situation was brought to light to me. I’ve been reading up on the situation in which Google supposedly purchased Twitch. Last month on July 24st Venture Beat wrote a piece confirming that Google had purchased Twitch for $1 billion. After this plenty of media outlets ranging from video game ones to business ones across the board began reporting this news as confirmed. At the time I was slightly skeptical because Venture Beat was going off of “confirmed sources familiar with the matter”. During this time a few of the outlets that reported on this situation were stating that it’s likely since Venture Beat tends to get the word on these sort of situations often.
While this may be true, there still hasn’t been a confirmation past this to my knowledge. I’ve checked a few outlets, Googled around a bit, and neither companies have issued a statement. Nothing as simple as a tweet, a press release, or just a genuine statement to confirm it. Now I’ve been under the impression that the deal went through ever since the article on Venture Beat ran and so has everyone else. They know their stuff and I won’t deny that, who am I to say they’re wrong?
I shoved my skepticism aside and then today I stumbled upon a thread on Reddit bringing the situation back into the spotlight. In the /r/Games subreddit they put some attention on Ron Amadeo’s recent blog post that went up yesterday after some of the recent changes have occurred at Twitch. Regardless of who Ron Amadeo is, he brings up several good points and he’s a writer for Ars Technica. This is where I began to question whether Twitch was purchased by Google and what’s really going on with the recent changes. I even headed over to the Twitch AMA that took place today to see if there was anything mentioning Google. Not a single thing except for a few comments mad about the change Google is supposedly making. Nevertheless, Amadeo mentioned in his blog post that Twitch has been making decisions that Google would be unlikely to make. That is if Twitch was purchased by Google after all. Twitch recently announced the following updates,
- Past broadcasts can no longer be saved forever and will now be deleted after 14 days for normal accounts and 60 days for subscribers.
- Highlights can be saved indefinitely but are limited to 2 hours now.
- Justin.tv was shutdown leading to accounts and videos being deleted.
These three updates are prior to the partnership Twitch made with Audible Magic. This is where things get interesting and while they could entirely be part of the purchase, it now gets skeptical. Amadeo pointed out how these updates are moves to cut costs and save on storage space. Sure, Google purchases Twitch and wants to cut down on costs, not quite. I’ll quote Amadeo here on why these decisions are unlike ones Google would be making,
“Why would a company that was about to get a billion dollar cash injection and unlimited resources start wiping all this data and limiting archiving? Google loves data and wants to keep everything around forever. Just look at things like G+ Auto Upload and Gmail.”
Currently we’re looking at a situation where the deal between Google and Twitch may have fallen through. This then leads to Twitch making decisions to get to a self-sustaining status and make cuts for that to happen. Certain choices such as the Audible Magic situation may have just been something that needed to happen while everyone has been comparing it to Google’s Content ID program on YouTube. Right now Twitch is just digging a hole and previously I had thought this situation would just blow over as the Content ID one did. Unfortunately when the Content ID kicked in for everyone at YouTube it really started up a storm but now looking back everyone has managed and gotten through it. I’m sure plenty of people have stopped, moved to different services, and others have just fought through it. That’s what I imagined would happen here but it’s difficult to say and I think we need a little more transparency. I’m not a business savvy person so I can’t begin whipping out numbers or statistics on this and that between Twitch and Google to prove a point. But it’s certain something seems off, to specifically quote Amadeo again.
“I don’t see a company prepping for a Google takeover, I see panic. Panic and a lack of understanding of what it should be doing. I think Google would want to keep all the old data instead of deleting it and enforce the DMCA on existing videos by processing takedown requests as they come in, which is all the law requires.”
What do you think of the current situation?