YouTube's plans to go to head to head with videogame streaming service Twitch haven't exactly been a secret.
In June, the company telegraphed the assault with live coverage of the E3 trade show, live streaming interviews with developers and teasing an upcoming YouTube Gaming service. Today, that service kicks off in earnest. And it could be a windfall for the Google-owned unit.
Game streaming, the practice of broadcasting yourself playing a videogame, has been around for years, but it began a stratospheric ascent just under two years ago with the launch of Sony's PlayStation 4 and Microsoft's Xbox One, which both integrated Twitch into the new consoles.
Today, Twitch boasts 1.5 million broadcasters. It recently had 2 million concurrent viewers. And its 100 million viewers per month spend an average of 106 minutes watching streamed content on the network per person per day.
YouTube has long had the desire to take a leadership position in the game streaming space. It had hoped to buy Twitch, before Amazon did so one year ago.