Earlier this week, YouTube made a major announcement, taking the sheet off of their latest product – YouTube Gaming.
YouTube Gaming will take the form of both a new mobile app and website, aiming to create a centralized hub for gaming content on YouTube.
A large focus of the project seems to be on discoverability. YouTube is creating individual pages for over 25,000 games that will allow you to discover videos and live streams featuring specific titles with ease. Subscriptions to gaming channels will be given new meaning with the ability to receive push notifications when your favorite creators start streaming.
The new site will also give creators additional tools like a permanent link to their streams for easier sharing and the ability to create streams on the fly, removing the need to schedule them in advance.
It’s clear that YouTube is aiming to increase overall session lengths with the new website/app combo. Creating a closed environment of exclusively gaming content should keep users on the site longer, as YouTube’s recommendation algorithms will be displaying exclusively gaming content – now in both the on-demand and live content types – with greater relevancy than we’ve ever seen before.
Many are speculating that YouTube Gaming will bring an end to Twitch’s reign as the leading home of game broadcasting. With YouTube’s huge user base and the fact that many creators already have their audiences established on the platform, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a spike in the number of creators jumping ship for YouTube Gaming.
Twitch seems to be prepared to take on the competition, however, even cracking a witty comeback in reply to YouTube’s announcement.
— Twitch (@Twitch) June 12, 2015
It’s worth noting that the two players have worked together in the past; YouTube has allowed Twitch streamers to activate dynamic call-to-action overlays on their videos that link out to their streams when they go live. There’s no word as to whether this feature will remain around when YouTube Gaming launches.
YouTube Gaming is poised to launch sometime this summer. We don’t have a definitive launch date yet, but it’s likely that more information will be shared during E3 later this week.
What are your thoughts on YouTube’s latest product announcement? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!