The war for stream supremacy is far from over if Microsoft has anything to say about it, as new data shows that Mixer has more streamers than YouTube and Facebook Gaming combined. The tech giant has fought tooth and nail to keep Mixer’s head above water since rolling out the streaming platform a few years ago, and the money and time invested into the venture seem to be paying off.
Much as its Xbox division has done with studio acquisition, Microsoft’s Mixer went on a spending spree last year, grabbing up top talent from Amazon-owned Twitch in lucrative exclusivity contracts. In only half a year, the biggest competitor in the streaming market lost the likes of Ninja, Shroud, and FaZe Clan’s Ew0k to high-dollar Mixer deals. It’s been hotly debated whether or not this aggressive strategy has been effective in retaining transitory viewers after initial spikes during streamers’ Mixer debut, but there’s no denying that personalities that take the deal make a killing, regardless of the expensive experiment’s ultimate outcome. However, sharp drops in Twitch viewership in late 2019 suggested that something was starting to give.
A Streamlabs report now says that, while Twitch continues to reign in every facet of the streaming market, Mixer has more streamers than rival platforms YouTube and Facebook Gaming combined. Though its viewership numbers are the lowest of the four platforms recorded, it has the “second most hours streamed trailing only behind Twitch” since the start of 2018. To put that into perspective, Mixer boasts approximately 260 million hours streamed over the last two years, while YouTube and Facebook Gaming streamers clocked less than half that, coming in at only at around 128 million hours cumulatively. Of course, Twitch’s numbers put them all to shame, with over 900 million hours having been streamed on the commanding platform.
Looking at the data, it’s clear that Mixer isn’t the Twitch killer that Microsoft envisioned when rebranding its Beam platform and making it a fixture of the Xbox Live ecosystem in 2017. That said, it’s doing surprisingly well to hold its own in a market so critically cornered by Twitch. Mixer might never tout viewership numbers on its rival’s scale, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that its multi-million-dollar contracts and generous subscriber promotions have been in vain. Unlike YouTube and Facebook Gaming (which, er, still exists) that attract few creators but enjoy higher view counts by coasting off of platform name recognition, Mixer’s broad appeal with Xbox and PC streamers with smaller audiences may flip the script on what consumption could look like in the future of the streaming world.