The battle between megacorporations Google (sorry, Alphabet) and Amazon escalated to a new front today. Desperate to stop gaming fans leaving the site to watch streams on Twitch, Youtube sneakily launched a competitor called Youtube Gaming last night.
A canny move on their part, as gaming content has seen a huge upsurge in the past few years, and users such as PewdiePie (cringe) have subscribers numbering near 40 million. Now let’s say the Pewdz decides to do a livestream of him screaming at Five Nights At Freddy’s on Twitch; that’s potentially – and this is a technical term – a shitload of traffic moving away from Youtube to its competitor. However, if Google can keep people on its video site it can carry on advertising to them and rake in those sweet, sweet ad bucks from people who still don’t use AdBlock (the fools).
YT Gaming looks slick and resembles a video on-demand service like Netflix rather than the messy subscription clutter of vanilla Youtube. There are some interesting features, such as being able to click on a game in the “Trending” list, which takes you to a page showing videos related to that title. If you’re the type of person that spends more time watching games than playing them (I know I am – procrastination somehow feels less guilty watching a video than actively turning on my console) then this is great news.
However, there are some drawbacks. Youtube’s content ID system is still in place, meaning streamers have to keep the music off. There’s also the fact that another part of the internet is being annexed by the Google behemoth; our children’s children will not know a world with other video sites, TV will be a distant memory, and they’ll be using “youtube” as a verb. Excuse me while I pewdiepie up.