By Glenn Chapman ,AFP
LOS ANGELES — YouTube is wading confidently into turf dominated by Amazon-owned Twitch, with a service tailored for the hot trend of videogame play as a spectator sport. The globally popular online video-sharing service provided industry insiders an early look at YouTube Gaming at an Electronic Entertainment Expo extravaganza that ends Thursday in Los Angeles. ��Having a destination where you can get all the gaming content you care about is really important,�� YouTube head of gaming partnerships Ryan Wyatt told AFP as he demonstrated the soon-to-be-launched venue for live or on-demand video focused on gaming. ��That is why we created this.�� Billions of hours of video related to gaming are watched monthly at YouTube, from ��walk-through�� clips showing players how to handle challenges, to comedic commentary and in-game action, according to Wyatt. The online arena for video game channels incorporates the search smarts of Google, which owns YouTube, to surface fresh or must-see content.
Billions of Game-watching Hours The potential audience for YouTube Gaming is huge given that hundreds of millions of people seek out videogame-related content at the service. ��We are doing billions of hours of watch time in gaming,�� Wyatt said. ��There should be a lot of traction going into this.�� YouTube Gaming will debut in the United Kingdom and the United States in the coming months, featuring on-demand video as well as live broadcasting of games being played. Along with the YouTube Gaming website accessible through web browsers, there will be an application for mobile devices. Leading video game play broadcasting platform Twitch was at E3 in force, streaming press conferences, demos, interviews and more. U.S. online retail giant Amazon last year bolstered its Internet video presence, whistling past Google to snatch up Twitch and its huge audience for live-streamed gaming. The acquisition was one of the largest in Amazon’s history: US$970 million in cash for the three-year-old Internet company. Twitch Interactive streams games being played for non-playing viewers to watch, and hosts gaming events.