Mixer and Twitch have increasingly been seen as rivals in recent months. This is primarily because Mixer has been gaining more recognition through its bold business strategy, enticing streamers from platforms like Twitch. Naturally, this pits the two platforms against each other, as Twitch attempts to retain streamers and Mixer brings in successful ones. Streamers moving to the platform has raised questions about its appeal, and what streamers see as its benefits.
Ninja was the first major Twitch streamer to quit the platform and to move. After Ninja jumped ship to Mixer, many more streamers followed suit, perhaps most notably Shroud. Ninja reportedly moved because Twitch was offering a contract which would restrict the growth of his brand, and other high-profile streamers may be moving with similar thoughts in mind. The focus on the brand may mean that Mixer is offering less strict contracts, allowing for greater sponsorship. Equally, there are likely more benefits than sponsorship when a valued name joins a growing platform.
With other major Twitch streamers teasing moves to Mixer, there are likely certain benefits that Mixer can offer streamers that Twitch can not. It's reasonable to assume that Mixer is offering a large financial incentive, and rumors have circulated about the multi-million dollar deals that have been struck. This could be a huge factor for many players who make a living through streaming. Yet there is a simpler benefit of moving to a growing platform, that may be evident to less popular streamers, and those less concerned about financial gain.
Mixer currently has far less users and streamers than Twitch. This means that famous streamers have more pull in terms of viewers because of a lack of competition. This can lead to a monopoly on viewership being quickly established, and this can provide success in the future after the platform grows. Furthermore, new streamers don't have to compete in the saturated streaming economy of Twitch, which means they can gain a following with greater ease. Also, because there is less competition in terms of streamers, there's more likely to be a greater amount of viewers despite fewer subscribers because of the lack of choice. This is the case now, but it will change quickly as Mixer grows.
Streamers are still taking a risk by abandoning Twitch, as Mixer isn't a resounding success yet. Mixer is still losing ground to Twitch in terms of livestream viewers, despite its considerable investment in streamers. Furthermore, Google Stadia will likely encourage YouTube streams because of Google's ownership of both properties, and this will present new challenges.
Dr Disrespect has commented on an offered Mixer deal, and he has stated that the Xbox integration doesn't lead to user interaction and views. This is a reasonable deduction, yet this may not always be the case because games like Halo: Infinite may radically change viewing figures. A huge franchise using streamers to promote the game could be part of a unique and potentially very successful marketing campaign. In this sense, Microsoft could benefit short term from Mixer. However, streamers will be hoping that Xbox succeeds in providing viewers in the next generation through a myriad of titles.
Some may feel that Mixer should be investing in gaining new users rather than streamers. Yet, from a business perspective, these likely look like the same thing as streamers have attracted new users to the platform. Naturally, moving to the platform has been marketed as a huge positive for the streamers, with Shroud claiming the switch to Mixer was "the best move for my career". The way streaming develops in the coming years will dictate how successful the move proves for streamers. There are plenty of factors such as consoles, emerging technology, and the image of the large conglomerates that own streaming platforms that can be a factor in user investment.
Mixer doesn't guarantee success, but it appears to provide tangible incentives. While there is only speculation about how much Mixer paid Ninja to move from Twitch, it is likely that Ninja's bottom lines goes untouched. Also, the chance to have a monopoly on an emerging streaming service, which is backed by Microsoft, is one which many would find too good to resist. These opportunities are why streamers are moving, yet whether the possibility to grow a brand with a platform becomes a reality is something only time will tell.