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Live streaming pioneer Justin.tv shuts down as company focuses on Twitch

Janko Roettgers

Influential live streaming service Justin.tv shut down its website and apps Tuesday after seven years of operations. The move comes as the company behind Justin.tv is concentrating all of its efforts behind Twitch, a video game-focused live streaming site that is reportedly in conversations about being acquired by YouTube.

Justin.tv founder Justin Kan and Twitch CEO Emmet Shear — as well as a number of members of the original Justin.tv — announced the shutdown with the following video on Justin.tv’s home page:

Existing Justin.tv members will be able to transfer their accounts to Twitch.tv until September 5, but there isn’t any option to retrieve any old Justin.tv live stream recordings — the service already shuttered its archives in early June.

Justin.tv was one of the earliest live streaming websites, and founder Justin Kan pioneered the idea of “lifestreaming” by carrying a head-mounted camera at all hours of the day. However, monetization of this type of live video has proven to be challenging, and the company behind Justin.tv hit on a gold mine when it launched a much more focused live video service with Twitch in 2011.

Twitch said it had 50 million unique viewers in July, and there have been a number of reports that YouTube is in discussions to acquire the site for $1 billion. The acquisition hasn’t been confirmed by Twitch or YouTube, but a shut-down of Justin.tv certainly makes sense in preparation for such an acquisition, as YouTube already offers its users a way to stream video live online.

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