Mixer, Microsoft’s livestreaming platform, made a sizable splash a few months ago by signing Ninja away from Twitch. Yet even with arguably the most popular streamer today in its stable, signs show that it’s not going to be challenging the current streaming juggernaut, Twitch, anytime soon.
In fact, if the most recent quarter of 2019 is any indication, then it’s going to be a good while before Mixer could conceivably become a prominent streaming force in its own right. Something it is far from doing right now, according to streaming content service StreamElements, going off of data compiled by industry analytics platform Arsenal.
This weekend saw it share how the total hours of viewed content were split across the top streaming platforms in Q3 2019. And the picture it paints isn’t good news for Mixer, because between July and September, it sat pretty firmly at the bottom of the list, with a total viewership share of just 3.2%. That’s less than what was taken by platforms with only a partial focus on streaming, like Facebook (3.7%) and YouTube (17.6%), and a far cry from Twitch’s immense share of 75.6%, a roughly 3% increase over the previous quarter.
With three-quarters of the streaming market in Twitch’s control, it’s no surprise that the competition is struggling to compete. Back in August, it seemed like Mixer’s power-play of bringing Ninja on board would enable it to start competing, a turning point for a platform that had largely been ignored back when Mixer was known as Beam. Unfortunately, although Mixer did see an increase in viewership that month, it amounted to just around 40,200,000 hours, a mere 6% increase from the previous month. Then September saw that increase give way to a huge 26% drop to just about 29,635,000 hours. By comparison, Twitch, in its slowest month, still amassed around 777,585,000 hours in viewership.
To be fair, that September decrease was experienced throughout the entire streaming market. Since September marks the start of the school year for these platforms’ younger viewers, the total viewership drops as a result across the board. Interestingly, though, Facebook Gaming was the only platform to somehow buck this trend, garnering an impressive 41% more viewership in September than in August.
Going forward, it’s hard to say what Mixer can do to become more prominent in the streaming business. It would be easy to say Microsoft should sign more exclusivity deals and pull more prominent streamers away from Twitch, but the lack of interest in Mixer following Ninja’s move suggests this would only get it so far. With Twitch’s current dominance of the market, it’s likely that the best Mixer can hope for will be to lean into its own strengths, like the best esports features of any platform, and attempt to carve out a more specialized niche for itself. Maybe then it will be able to thrive in whatever capacity it can.