YouTube to Challenge Twitch With Gaming-Specific App and Website

Google launching a new "YouTube built for gamers."


YouTube has announced plans to launch a website and app focused entirely on delivering video game content.

YouTube Gaming will have dedicated pages for more than 25,000 games, with each serving as a hub where users can access videos and live streams. Content will be published by video game publishers and YouTube creators.

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Users can stay up-to-date with the latest content for specific games by adding titles to a collection and, as with the standard YouTube service, it is possible to subscribe to a channel to be fed content from a specific channel or user. Additionally, when streamers go live, a notification will be sent out to all subscribers.

"Uncover new favorites with recommendations based on the games and channels you love," YouTube says. "And when you want something specific, you can search with confidence, knowing that typing 'call' will show you 'Call of Duty' and not 'Call Me Maybe.'"

According to YouTube, it will launch an improved live experience that makes it simpler to broadcast gameplay "in the coming weeks."

"On top of existing features like high frame rate streaming at 60fps, DVR, and automatically converting your stream into a YouTube video, we're redesigning our system so that you no longer need to schedule a live event ahead of time," the company continues. "We're also creating a single link you can share for all your streams."

YouTube Gaming will launch in the United States and United Kingdom this summer. Although browsers and mobile devices have been confirmed, it is unclear whether the service will be available on games consoles.

Earlier this year Google revealed the top search queries for YouTube in 2014 included Minecraft, which was the second most-searched item of the year, beaten only by "music." It outpaced other popular search terms such as "movies," "Frozen," "Beyonce," "Drake," and "Taylor Swift," among others.

Google pop culture and gaming insights lead Gautam Ramdurai explained that gaming content is so popular on YouTube because it appeals to non-gamers.

"A Google Consumer Survey fielded in October 2014 of people who said they watch gaming videos on YouTube revealed that only a portion of this group (37%) considers themselves 'gamers,'" he said. "When asked about their motivations for watching gaming videos, viewers mentioned 'entertainment' and 'humor' as often as they mentioned 'learning new strategies' or "game tips."

Another key statistic exemplifying how popular the content is on YouTube is that gaming made the daily top ten "trending out YouTube" list nearly every day. You can read Google's full report on YouTube gaming statistics here.

Last year, the Google-owned YouTube reportedly attempted to buy video game livestreaming giant Twitch, but the deal ultimately fell through due to antitrust concerns. After that, online retail giant Amazon stepped in to buy the platform for nearly $1 billion. Find out what we thought about the deal in an episode of The Lobby from last year.

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E3 2015
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