Nixing Mixer

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  • Popular streamers were Ninja and Shroud bought out of lucrative deals.

Microsoft is shutting down its streaming platform Mixer, with plans to move partners to Facebook Gaming. Mixer launched in 2016 to compete with the Amazon-owned Twitch, the Google-backed YouTube, and Facebook Gaming. However, the service never gained traction compared to its rivals, leading Microsoft to shut down Mixer as of July 22. Facebook will work with Microsoft to transition existing Mixer viewers and streamers over to Facebook Gaming in the coming weeks.

“I think the Mixer community is really going to benefit from the broad audience that Facebook has through their properties,” Microsoft Head of Gaming Phil Spencer told the Verge.

Microsoft will see some benefits from shutting down Mixer: it will use its new partnership with Facebook Gaming to launch its anticipated xCloud game streaming service, while also utilizing technology from the platform to improve Microsoft Teams.

Mixer had signed several popular Twitch streamers including Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins and Michael ‘Shroud’ Grzesiek, but those lucrative exclusive deals didn’t help draw enough viewers away from the other platforms. Mixer bought out the Ninja and Shroud deals – $30 million and $10 million, respectively – making them free agents despite Facebook reportedly offering nearly double their current contracts to keep them on the platform.

April 2020 Streaming Platform Hours Watched:

— Twitch – 1.5 billion, 98% year-over-year growth

— YouTube Gaming – 461 million, 65%

— Facebook Gaming – 291 million, 238%

— Mixer – 37.1 million, 0.2%