YouTube has launched a live streaming service for gaming videos, in order to rake in the audiences that it loses to video streaming sites.
YouTube gaming channels can be seen as the backbone of the site, with major game players racking up billions of views. However, in order to live stream, YouTube personalities, who bring in so many views were turning elsewhere, most notably to Amazon’s Twitch.
Now they will be able to stay on the main YouTube site, streaming directly through YouTube Gaming.
With vloggers such as PewDiePie, Markiplier and the Yogscast having such huge numbers of subscribers (38 million, 9 million and 7 million respectively at time of writing), and with these being just three of the many, many gaming YouTubers out there, it is no wonder that the site wants to cash in on this genre of videos, and break the near-monopoly that Twitch has on live streaming.
Representatives of Youtube told the BBC that they wanted to stop the experience of gaming video viewing being fragmented across several sites.
Earlier this year, YouTube also tried to capitalise on music with a specialised music area of their site.
“Gaming is a specialist topic but YouTube is a generalist outlet,” said Steve Bailey, a games analyst at IHS Technology. “Establishing a new platform means it can skew the features to better suit gamers.”
YouTube’s head of gaming, Ryan Wyatt, supported this, telling the BBC: “We’re not treating gaming any differently on YouTube. The [new gaming] app is a lens for gaming content, the key thing is discoverability.”
“This is a way to focus on gaming videos, aggregate them, but YouTube doesn’t change. You can still watch gaming videos on YouTube.”