Microsoft has been trying for years to compete with Twitch and other video game streaming services, but the company’s Mixer platform seems to be getting nowhere. Despite signing exclusive contracts with popular Twitch streamers such as Ninja and Shroud, those personalities have undoubtedly lost a big part of their audience by moving to Mixer.
T.C. Sottek, Executive Editor at The Verge pointed that out in a series of tweets earlier this week, emphasizing that Mixer rarely gets more than 60K concurrents viewers on the platform.
If everyone can easily see viewing statistics for the most popular games and streamers on Mixer, you have to look elsewhere for global viewing statistics. The website MixerStats.com is probably the most popular open analytic platform that tracks all kinds of data using the Mixer API. Looking at the global stats, you can see that the number of concurrent viewers usually reach a p and the global stats for the past 10 days show that the peak number usually varies between 60K and 70K viewers. As for active channels, they vary from below 10K to above 20K every day.
There were two exceptions this week when that number rose to 90K, and that was during the PlayStation event on June 11 and the Fortnite event on June 15. Overall, 70K concurrent viewers and extremely low compared to Twitch’s massive viewership numbers. According to the tracking platform Twitchstats.net, Twitch has an average number of viewers of 1.9M in 2020, with an average of 75K active channels.
There’s no denying that compared to Twitch, YouTube, or even Facebook gaming, Mixer is pretty much a ghost town. A recent report from StreamElements and Arsenal showed that all game streaming platforms except Mixer saw massive growth in April, with 98% more hours watched year-over-year for Twitch. For Mixer, that YoY growth number dropped to a barely noticeable 0.2%.
As we’re getting closer to the launch of a new generation of consoles, Mixer is sitting in an incredibly weirder position. It’s backed by one of the richest companies in the world, and it also managed to sign some of the most popular streamers, but that didn’t make any difference in recent months. And this won’t get any better with no Mixer apps on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch, two platforms that are obviously more popular than Xbox.
This certainly has been said before, but Mixer’s situation is really similar to what happened with Google+, or Microsoft’s own Windows Phone mobile platform. In both cases, Microsoft and Google both wasted tons of resources to catch up with their competitors, but this was just way too late. The ship had already sailed, and it doesn’t look that Microsoft can prevent Mixer from slowly sinking.
Earlier this week, partnered streamer TheNinjaWolf asked Mixer streamers on Twitter their top three requests for the platform. His tweet got a lot of traction, as well as comments from streamers who left Mixer over frustration. A more stable platform was one of the top requests, along with an increased focus on non-anglocentric markets. It actually seems almost impossible to meet the requirements for reaching Partner status if you don’t speak English, and becoming a Mixer Partner is pretty much the only way to get promoted and make some decent money from streaming.
Start focussing on other regions outside of the USA and actually supporting them and their communities.
Stop focussing on the top 1% of the platform and ignoring the the creators who built it from nothing.
Stability i guess? The fact the site still runs like crap is a joke.
— Mikpwn (@Mikpwn) June 16, 2020
Among rumors of low morale at Mixer, a video leaked earlier this year showing Mixer general manager Shilpa Yadla trying to re-motivate her troops in what are certainly difficult times for the streaming platform. Microsoft stills appears committed to Mixer, but it's not clear if it's still sustainable for the company to maintain a platform that's not getting any traction. Maybe Microsoft can find synergies between Mixer and its upcoming Project xCloud game streaming service, similar to Google's planned Stadia/YouTube synergies, but the Redmond giant hasn't said anything about that so far.
We'll continue to follow what's happening on Mixer in the coming months, but after signing Ninja and a couple of other big names last year, Microsoft seems no longer interested is getting more popular faces on Mixer. In the meantime, it's not unusual to see big Twitch streamers like Dr Disrespect making fun of Mixer.
The difference between Twitch and Mixer. pic.twitter.com/1OgAIrBuf1
— Dr Disrespect (@drdisrespect) April 25, 2020
If you're regularly streaming on Mixer or watching other streamers on the platform, we'd love to hear your thoughts about it. Do you think Mixer will end up like Windows Phone or Google+, or do you think Microsoft can't afford to give up so early while game streaming is becoming increasingly popular? Sound off in the comments below.