Streamer News 2020: The Recent Growth of Microsoft Mixer

Amazon-owned Twitch reigns on as a king of the live streaming realm.

The famous platform attracts 15 million daily viewers, leaving the competition trailing in the dust.

But, the winds of change are blowing, as there’s a new challenger at the horizon. Microsoft Mixer is creeping up on Amazon’s flagship, as well as YouTube and Facebook Gaming.

One of the main things it has going for it is a star-studded roaster of streamers. Big deals have made it an attractive proposition for sponsors and viewers too.

So, can Microsoft attract enough eyeballs and spur explosive growth?

It seems that for now, the plan is working. The future looks promising, although the likes of Amazon will have something to say about it. Here is the state of affairs approaching 2020.

Deadly Shadows

Mixer officially launched in January 2016, under a different name— Beam.

The new platform struggled to amass viewers and streamers. It was facing an uphill battle against the established giants.

Yet, Microsoft had no intention of lingering in the shadow of Twitch. It decided to rebrand Beam as Mixer in 2017. New features were added, such as support for mobile games and co-streaming.

Then, a significant shift in momentum came in 2019. Streaming superstar “Ninja” left Twitch to join the growing Microsoft channel.  The former channel was dealt a serious blow, albeit far from a fatal one.

In a grand scheme of things, the transfer of the most subscribed streamer is little more than a blip on the radar. Nevertheless, it was a leap in the right direction for Microsoft.

Among other things, Mixer’s downloads improved. Ninja alone brought over 2 million followers with him. His changing of camps also worked miracles for media coverage and brand visibility.

Other streamers started wondering whether the grass is greener on the other side. Perhaps Microsoft offers something other options don’t?

The Numbers Don’t Lie

Positive perception doesn’t automatically translate into stellar market performance.

So, what do the numbers say? Well, it’s estimated that in a matter of one year, the number of hours watched more than doubled on Mixer. At the same time, the number of hours streamed tripled.

Make no mistake: these are impressive gains, but Mixer is still dwarfed by Twitch. Judging by audience figures, the streaming leader still has a 75.6% market share.

But, the rate of growth is what’s working to Mixer’s advantage. Twitch growth has remained modest, to say the least. Thus, if the upward trajectory continues, it won’t be long until Microsoft lays its claim to the throne.

As for YouTube, it’s already lagging behind in terms of the total number of streamed hours. The situation turns in YouTube’s favor when looking at total views. Here, Mixer has to bridge a big gap.

Finally, let’s mention the number of unique channels. Mixer has whopping 3.9 million of them, while Twitch has 3.8. YouTube is far behind with less than a million.

Of course, leading in one field means you can be lacking in another one. Namely, Mixer enjoys fewer viewers per channel than the competition.

One to Rule them All

We need to observe Mixer is an integral part of the Microsoft ecosystem.

The company’s revenue originates from subscriptions and Ember sales. We don’t know what exactly this amounts to, but it’s likely a relatively small portion of total gaming revenue. Xbox and Windows are the main gold mines for the company.

We also know tech behemoth is betting big time on the gaming industry. Services like Xbox Live will be joined by a new cloud gaming platform called Project xCloud. This move will open doors to streaming console games across devices.

As you probably know, Google is one step ahead here. It’s about to launch Stadia, its own cloud streaming project, which will be fully integrated with YouTube.

Amazon hasn’t announced a cloud service yet, but it could happen in the near future. We should not overlook conventional players like Facebook Gaming either. Its numbers speak volumes about the potential for gaining traction in months to come.

This is all to say the pressure is on Microsoft to act. Streaming wars are heating up and it’s time to deploy heavy artillery.

Apart from attracting viewers and revenue, Microsoft also has a chance to unify its stack of gaming services.

A Rough Journey Ahead

When all is said and done, it’s clear that Mixer still has a way to go.

One problem is the acquisition of Ninja hasn’t been as impactful as Microsoft executives had hoped. It came short of being the tide that lifts all the boats. Other big names might have to follow.

In other words, Microsoft is forced to heavily invest in its platform. This endeavor involves striking more lucrative deals with esports superstars. Money is the magnet for them to leave the comfort of their current position.

Encouraging signs come in the form of two more exclusive acquisitions. The first is Michael Cory, also known as “King Gothalion”. The second all-star player is Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek.

Their departures from Twitch prove Ninja wasn’t an isolated case. With such a great roaster, Microsoft might have a true winner in the making.

That being said, the tech goliath must be aware of the risks too. As it stands, it has to constantly subsidize the growth of the platform. If this fails to stimulate sales of embers and subscriptions, the ROI is in question.

So, we would argue it’s still premature to call Mixer a “Twitch killer”. Time will tell if it can become one or at least pose a true heavyweight streaming platform.

The Prospects of Microsoft Mixer Appear Bright

The battle for streaming viewership is on.

In recent years, Microsoft Mixer is gaining ground at the expense of Twitch. But, the problem is it has to actively pull away viewers and streamers from the leaders.

Amazon’s platform and YouTube dominate in the area of audience numbers. And since the technical differences between the platforms are negligible, skirmishes will take place on other fronts.

On paper, Mixer is supposed to spearhead the expansion of its gaming service ecosystem. It also aspires to overshadow all other competitors. For now, things are going according to plan, but the biggest challenges still remain.

Microsoft will need to double down on investment, build a broad audience, and secure individual stars. No small feats these are.

If you’re considering making the switch to Microsoft Mixer, check out our Mixer vs Twitch comparison to figure out which is best for you.