After investing heavily into its livestreaming service, Microsoft will shutter operation of Mixer on July 22nd. It is partnering up with Facebook Gaming to give partnered Mixer streams a seamless migration to a new platform.
In a statement Mixer said: “It became clear that the time needed to grow our own livestreaming community to scale was out of measure with the vision and experiences that Microsoft and Xbox want to deliver for gamers now. So we’ve decided to close the operations side of Mixer and help the community transition to a new platform.”
There was no prior notice to Mixer streamers and they heard the news for the first time when the rest of the world did. Not even the top talent on the platform were notified in advance.
The company plunged money into the platform, both from a technological point of view as well as on exclusive streaming talent. Tyler “Ninja” Blevins and Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek both signed very lucrative deals to exclusively stream on Mixer, and the company also locked in many other top streamers.
Unfortunately, Mixer couldn’t build enough momentum and is falling ever further behind competitors like Twitch and YouTube. The latest stats available come from April 2020 and it is grim reading. Viewers watched 37 million hours of gaming content on Mixer, compared to Twitch’s 1.5 billion and YouTube’s 461 million. Growth numbers also paint a depressing picture for Mixer: hours watched on Twitch grew 101 percent between April 2019 and 2020, while Mixer’s increased just .2 percent.
Mixer was launched at the beginning of 2016, called Beam back then. Within a couple of months it was bought by Microsoft, due to the innovative technology it was building. Mixer has very low and direct streaming from Microsoft’s Xbox as well as to PC.
While the failure of the streaming service might surprise some (especially given how much money Microsoft put into it), but they simply didn’t have the easy sell to viewers and streamers alike like Facebook Gaming and YouTube did. Twitch is still the top hub for gamers, but Facebook and YouTube both have billions of users it can turn into gaming content consumers. It will be interesting to see if they can bring a major challenge to Twitch in the years to come.