Why has Mixer, the alternative to Twitch that paid streamers millions, failed?

Why has Mixer, the alternative to Twitch that paid streamers millions, failed?

At the beginning of this week there was a news story that caught us all by surprise. Microsoft shut down Mixer, its streaming content platform, due to the impossibility of standing up to giants like Twitch and YouTube .

The company will continue to offer its service until July 22 , at which point it will become part of Facebook Gaming, Mark Zuckerberg's great project that includes livestreams and pre-recorded video broadcasts, and which also seeks to become the leading content platform. Of video.

But, what could have happened so that Mixer had to close after only 4 four years since its creation ? What will happen now to the platform after its integration into Facebook Gaming? We briefly review the history of the Microsoft platform to try to answer all these unknowns.

Premature closure

This adventure began in August 2016 when  Microsoft absorbed the Beam company and renamed it Mixer with the firm promise of creating a powerful service that would allow players to broadcast their games live from Windows 10 or Xbox One, and interact with live viewers. In addition, it was also available for iOS and Android devices.

Although it imitated a large part of the services already offered by other platforms , the main differential value of Mixer compared to the distinguished competition lay in giving more weight to viewers, who had many more options to interact, play and even see their creators of favorite content simultaneously.

But the idea did not come to fruition, with a slow growth in the number of subscribers compared to the queen of streaming Twitch, owned by Amazon. But, perhaps the most plausible explanation for the failure of Mixer, we can find it in the mouth of its chief executive, Phil Spencer . 

During the announcement of the closure of Mixer, the Xbox director acknowledged that the company started too late looking to compete with a giant like Twitch , strongly established with a solid community. At some point during these 4 years, it became clear that the time and resources required to grow their own community did not match Redmond's vision for continuing operations.

Millionaire investments in streamers

In its race to eat Twitch's toast, Microsoft invested very heavily in Mixer, especially in 2019. Only during that year, exclusive agreements were signed with mega stars such as Ninja or Shroud , who at that time was the most popular streamer on Twitch.

Unfortunately, Microsoft's high expectations were met with stark reality. After the million-dollar operation with the exclusive agreement with Shroud, it was leaked through a report published in Streammetrics that  only 15% of viewers in the United States moved to Mixer along with the streamer . Its audience plummeted from nearly 720,000 unique viewers to just over 230,000 after the transition between platforms. Or, put another way, the streamer lost practically two-thirds of his audience.

A similar case occurred with Ninja, whose debut on Mixer was unfortunately accompanied by a significant decline in the number of followers . In addition, here we talk about an exclusivity agreement that had to match the estimated earnings of the streamer, which amounted to 10 million dollars, between advertising income, subscriptions and participation in events.

These operations sought to enhance the platform and give a more exclusive environment to this type of content creators. An investment that they hoped to recover in the long run, of course, but unfortunately it did not come with the expected results, having lost several million along the way.


Under the umbrella of Facebook Gaming

As of July 22,  all Mixer apps and websites will be redirected to the Facebook Gaming platform. From then on, the app will be disabled on Xbox One, in the hope that the transition will be as smooth as possible for all users , streamers, and viewers alike.

But what can Facebook Gaming do with the newly absorbed Mixer? In a scenario where the clear winner is Twitch, in terms of number of hours viewed, followed not very closely by YouTube Gaming; Facebook Gaming starts its new journey with only 6% of the hours seen that Twitch agglutinated at the end of 2019, if we add the Mars of Mixer. He has a long way to go.

The objective of allying with Mark Zuckerberg's social network basically resides in the huge audience that Facebook's social networks have, as well as integrating Facebook Gaming in Project xCloud , with the idea that when a user is watching a streamer, you can enjoy that same game in the cloud with just one click .

Sources: Facebook offered an insane offer at almost double for the original Mixer contracts of Ninja and Shroud but Loaded / Ninja / Shroud said no and forced Mixer to buy them out. Ninja made ~ $ 30M from Mixer, and Shroud made ~ $ 10M

Ninja and Shroud are now free agents

- Rod "4475 SR & Immortal peak" Breslau (@Slasher) June 22, 2020

In its favor it has the fact of having signings such as DisguisedToast, ZeRO, NexxuzHD, or even Lolito FDEZ. Although, on the other hand, it appears that Ninja and Shroud are getting off the boat following Mixer's termination, and they are not expected to continue under the Facebook Gaming umbrella. And that according to the information shared by some insiders, Facebook would have put multimillion-dollar sums on the table to extend the exclusive contract with many of the streamers who had been collaborating with Mixer.

The battlefield of video game streaming is on fire, and it has already claimed its first victim with Mixer. The remaining players, Amazon, Google and Facebook, will fight a bloody battle to rise as the first place. Either way, let's hope that we as viewers always win.