With Google reportedly having cemented a $1 billion deal to buy online-streaming service Twitch, the video game-focused service's owners have shut down the site from which Twitch originated: Justin.tv. The platform pioneered live streaming video, launching in 2007.
Justin.tv posted a farewell message on its website along with a FAQ for users.
"Justin.tv was officially renamed Twitch Interactive Inc. in February of 2014 and Twitch is now the focus of the company's resources. Unfortunately that means we need to shut down Justin.tv," the company said on its homepage, which has been changed to announce the news.
Justin.tv's website, mobile apps and APIs have all been taken down. User accounts have been closed and subscribers are not able to access settings or content. However, subscribers can complete a Google Docs-based form, linked here, to have their accounts transferred to Twitch. Users have until Sept. 5 to transfer.
Those who want to stream something other than game-related video were encouraged to try other streaming sites. "For other types of content, there are a number of live sites still out there who support live video broadcasting: YouTube, Ustream and Livestream, for instance," according to the website message.
The change was likely necessary for a couple of reasons. First, with all their attention focused on the Twitch brand--which this spring was the fastest-growing streaming service in the U.S.--Justin.tv, with a much smaller subscriber base, was destined to languish. Second, with Twitch's purchase by Google all but a fact (it was confirmed by unnamed sources to VentureBeat in late July but no official announcement has been made), Justin.tv's founders--Justin Kan, Emmett Shear, Michael Siebel and Kyle Vogt--are either obligated to shut the competing service, or no longer need to run it, thanks to that reported billion-dollar payday.
"Purchases are often followed by consolidation, as well as cutting off any excess limbs," wrote Emil Protalinksi at The Next Web.
Buying Twitch fills another market niche for Google-owned YouTube, FierceCable reported. "The purchase will deliver the world's biggest online video platform acumen it doesn't yet have--the wherewithal to regularly stream live programming and the ability to create a subscription-based programming business."
Twitch has an audience of at least 50 million users and in March took up 1.35 percent of all Internet bandwidth in the United States.
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