Last month on the 22nd of June 2020, Microsoft came up with the tweet that made thousands of streamers streaming on Mixer shocked. The news was about the shutting down of the Mixer streaming platform. A growing platform that saw the rise in viewers when Ninja and Shroud were signed in just 8 months ago. But why Mixer has shut down? that is the major question that everyone is asking right now. Let’s see what was the real issue that leads to the fall of Microsoft’s Mixer when everything was going smoothly.
History Of Mixer
The Mixer was an online game streaming platform which was launched on 5th January 2016. James Boehm and Mathews Salsamendi were the real founders of the Mixer which was earlier known as Beam when it was launched. In August 2016 Microsoft bought te Beam startup for an undisclosed amount. After the acquisition, Microsoft renamed the Beam to Mixer on 25th May 2017. They even integrated it’s Windows 10 and Xbox division to the platform. With its rebranding of the whole service, Microsoft came up with these features.
Features of Mixer
The mixer was using *Faster Than Light* (FTL) online protocol that Microsoft stats that it has less than a second streaming activity to its viewers. It means that Mixer can provide the real-time activity of streamers to reach their audience. This was not available as the minimum time of streaming difference is 5 seconds or more in other platforms. Another special thing about the server was that it was using additional interactive features like voting, special effects, etc which can be bought by using “Sparks“. Sparks was the game currency that one can collect while watching streams on Mixer. This was new as if somebody doesn’t like to spend money on emoticons but like to convey something to his/her favorite streamer than it was a pretty good deal to the viewers.
Turning Point Of Mixer
As Mixer was being rebranded by the Microsoft to give a good competition to its rival Twitch. So in November 2018, Microsoft announced the Season 2 of Mixer which included Skills, and Embers (the paid currency of Mixer). Lastly, a channel progression tab for the creator was also added. During the same time, Mixer also lowered his manual subscription of any streamer partner from $5.99 to $4.99 to give stiff competition to Twitch who has the same subscription charge.
Microsoft didn’t stop there and want to go all out to wipe his rivals in the market. so in the following year, Mixer signed the two biggies of Twitch streamers namely Ninja and Shroud along with many more streamers like King Gothalion and many more to boost the watch time of the streaming platform. They got successful with this plan as the reports from Streamlabs suggested that the total watch time (in Hours) drastically increased in the 4th quarter of the year 2019.
Microsoft was hitting the bullseye in every step they were taking to boost the service from scratch after rebranding. The overall growth of the Mixer skyrocketed after the Ninja contract signing.
What Lead To The Fall Of Mixer
All things were going smoothly for the Mixer. They were signing streamers from other streaming platforms and the watch time was increasing. It was like a dream run for the Mixer in every aspect against their rivals till the time Mixer’s staff was accused of racism. Ex-Employee Milan Lee came forward and told his story about he was sided out from every conference and how he was selected for the job as he considered as street smart. He also said that one of the managers was so rude that she said all her partners are slaves and she is a slave master. Mixer got a major backlash from the statements made by Milan to the company.
Here is the link to his experience when he was working with Mixer during his tenure:- tl.gd/n_1sr9idp
Weeks, after this news surfaced the internet on 22nd June 2020 Mixer, tweeted that due to the low growth of the company’s growth the Mixer is going to shut down the service next month. They also said the quarter by quarter growth of the market share of Mixer was not growing as expected.
The below picture will give the comparison of watch time growth after the Mixer season 2 was announced.
What Will Happen To Ninja, Shroud, and Other Streamers Now?
When Microsoft tweeted about these failures of the streaming platform. They stated that they will shut down Mixer next month on the same date. It came as a shock to every streamer whether big or small. Some streamers cried on live streams when the news came out while big streamers like Ninja and Shroud made a hefty sum of money over the exclusive deal with Mixer which will eventually come to end with the shutting down of mixer.
s0aopy a newly partnered streamer with Mixer initially thought it was a joke. But later when she found that it was real that it will be soon be shut down. She broke into tears and stated that “It is like losing a home but it’s not like missing Mixer, it’s like sucking out what I was good at it that is streaming”.
On the other hand, the big exclusive contracts of Ninja and shroud with around 30 million and 10 million dollars respectively came to an end with the shutting down of Mixer. Though the Mixer let go of both the streamers by ending their contracts and with a bag full of money. Facebook offered the same contract to both the streamers for double the amount of the money as compared to Mixer. Phew, that’s a lot! but both said no to Facebook gaming which makes them free to choose any platform that wants to stream.
Aftermath of Mixer’s Shutdown
Before Microsoft said that they will shut down Mixer on 22 July 2020 they already collaborated with Facebook Gaming. 4 things happened after the Mixer’s shutdown:-
- Exclusive contracts of top streamers were signed off.
- staff members of the mixer division transferred to the Main Microsoft division.
- Mixer currency “Embers” and subscriptions left of any user were converted to Microsoft Store credits by Microsoft.
- Signed streamers were given an exclusive offer contract to stream on Facebook gaming.
These all things have happened which led to the shut down of Mixer. The vision to overtake every rival in the market by signing streamers was good by the Microsoft company. But how they managed it and overspend money over signing streamers was little too much. In my view, Microsoft should have targeted new developing markets. Like in Asia particularly in India where Gaming and Streaming are rapidly increasing day by day. They could have learned from the Twitch on how they can grab so much audience in the last decade. Nevertheless, the journey of the Mixer was like a roller coaster ride. There are some winners and losers after the shutdown of the Mixer. But I hope every streamer finds there best suitable streaming platform for themselves.