Mixer vs Twitch: Gaming Streaming Platforms Battle
Mixer is a Microsoft-owned live streaming platform for gamers that was officially launched in January 2016 as Beam. It was renamed Mixer in May 2017, and made a big splash in August 2019 when the world-renowned Twitch streamer Ninja joined the platform. In less than a month, this celebrity streamer hit over 1.5 million subscribers on Mixer. This transition caused increasing interest in the service, as it runs in comparatively new and uncharted territory. Industry experts are actively comparing Mixer against Twitch, the leader in gameplay streaming.
1.5 million subscribers on @WatchMixer and almost 2 million follows. The best part, there are still people who dont know I have made the switch which makes me happy knowing there is room to grow and continue the rise.
— Ninja (@Ninja) August 20, 2019
To provide some guidance around this emerging trend, the Cloutboost team has put together a list of key insights about Mixer, from key numbers and features to the potential for brand partnerships with Mixer streamers.
Mixer vs. Twitch: What Makes Mixer Unique?
Twitch has held a leading position among similar video game streaming services for many years, but several important functions of Mixer’s make it competitive. While Twitch remains the most robust service, Mixer is more interactive and experimental. Twitch has the largest community of live streamers with over 2 million monthly broadcasters, but there are a few factors that might nudge people into replacing it with Mixer.
Here are several points that make Mixer attractive for streamers:
- Community interaction. The main perk Mixer offers is its user interaction capabilities. These became possible due to the exceptionally low latency between the broadcasters and the viewers. According to Microsoft blog, you typically get 10-20 seconds latency on other platforms, while Mixer offers real-time streaming. With the increased efficiency in their interactions, viewers can vote, influencing the continuing course of the game.
- Sparks and experience points. Mixer viewers can gain skills and emotes. Watching streams on Mixer, users accumulate experience points, which can be exchanged for specific upgrades. Users further can earn in-play currency, known as Sparks. These are used to enable interactive features, activate skills and provide access to community-created apps.
- Co-streaming. In 2017 Mixer launched an exclusive function called Squad Streaming, where groups of up to four players can merge their streams into a single one. This function has several benefits, including increasing the players’ interest and presenting more opportunities for content creation.
While the streaming process on Mixer is the same as on Twitch or similar services, features like concurrent streams, customized GIFs and emojis, and multiple ways to support streamers monetarily make it simpler and more engaging for its users. The developers of the service have been introducing exciting features constantly, which helped transform Mixer completely, making it a fun place for viewers and attractive for streamers and sponsors alike.
Mixer by the Numbers
Mixer is one of the smallest streaming platforms: while Twitch is reported to control about 72 percent of the streaming market, Mixer is estimated to have around three percent. But its influence is rapidly growing, as new users are driven to the service. Take a look at the metrics for Q2 2019:
- Around 119M hours watched over the last three months. This number has increased by 32% compared to the previous quarter, and by 357% compared to last year.
- 12M hours streamed. An increase of 44% is a significant gain within a comparatively short period of time.
- 1.96M channels stream to Mixer, a number that exceeds the previous quarter’s by 37%.
- The platform hit 55K concurrent viewers in Q2 2019 and that is 30% higher compared to Q1 2019.
How to Stream on Mixer?
Mixer functions are similar to YouTube Gaming, Twitch and other streaming platforms. To start broadcasting or watching, you need to create an account and start following top streamers or create your own live-stream.
Here are three steps to take in order to start streaming:
- Head to the official website or download the application on your mobile phone. There is also an opportunity to get the app for Windows PC.
- Create an account or log in with an existing one from Microsoft, Twitter, Xbox Live or Discord.
- Follow the streamers and games you like, comment in the chat, watch videos and participate in crucial moments of the game.
Streaming on Mixer couldn’t be easier. Downloading the app and creating an account is all you need to do to start using Mixer. The mobile application supports live streaming video gameplay, and you can also use front camera for chatting with followers. Follow the in-app instructions to start streaming with Mixer.
As for desktop streaming, that resembles YouTube and Twitch experiences as well. XSplit Broadcaster or OBS needs to be installed in order to get started. Streaming on Xbox, PlayStation and other consoles can be launched with a few button clicks. Download the app and enjoy playing, streaming and viewing Mixer broadcasts.
Mixer Brand Sponsorships: Pros and Cons
Apart from the appealing features for streamers and viewers, Mixer can be interesting for brands. The platform’s interactivity and co-streaming features open new opportunities for product promotion. As Mixer does not support direct ads so far, influencer sponsorship is the only way brands can take advantage of the platform.
Mixer broadcasters can offer control over their game characters to their viewers, getting them more interested and engaged with the stream. Ninja’s transfer to Mixer has completely changed the service, boosting its marketing potential exponentially.
However, before you start sponsoring a streamer, you need to consider not only the advantages but the potential risks as well. The greatest challenge for marketers is the absence of benchmarks, case studies and best practices to learn from. It’s very hard, if not impossible, to predict campaign outcomes and forecast ROI. The territory of brand partnerships on Mixer is yet uncharted, so it’s hard to find enough data to make estimates for your campaign.
Still, while live-streaming video accounts for over two-thirds of all internet traffic, and is expected to jump to 82% by 2020, it might be a good idea for your brand to embrace this opportunity at its outset.
Mixer in Perspective: What to Expect in the Future?
Backed by Microsoft, Mixer is definitely playing the long game on the live streaming market, showing huge potential to expand its positions. Microsoft is winning over the gaming world with its advanced next-gen consoles and announced cloud gaming innovations, so Mixer development is a logical step in the company’s strategy.
Mixer is a comparatively new video game streaming platform, so its developers are currently working on official support for the leading games. Viewers have a chance to influence the path of the game, while streamers are still in control of all the actions.
Now, players can benefit from the Telltale Games’ Crowd Play feature that provides viewers with an opportunity to vote on the significant choices in popular games, like The Walking Dead, Batman, Guardians of the Galaxy and others. The Minecraft team is also working on Mixer integration in order to complement the diversity of useful tools.
With its rapid development and increasing popularity, Mixer creates new opportunities for influencer marketing. Brands can take advantage of streamers’ potential to advertise products while the platform is not yet packed with sponsored content.
Stepping up to a collaboration with Mixer streamers, you can always rely on the Cloutboost team. Our gaming influencer agency will work out and manage a top-to-bottom campaign for your brand. Send us a short message and let’s create a strategy with best practices together!