Mixer has been grabbing headlines since Tyler ‘Ninja’ Belvins made his official move from Twitch to the Microsoft streaming platform. So the question is should you be on Mixer as well?
What Is Mixer?
Mixer is a game streaming service and has existed as a potential competitor to Twitch and YouTube Gaming (RIP) since 2016. Originally called Beam, it was acquired by Microsoft in 2016, and proceeded to integrate Beam into Windows 10 and Xbox One. The company then changed the name to Mixer in 2017.
It starts off the same gamers can stream their gameplay to the service while other people log in and watch from their devices. Some features of Mixer include three concurrent streams, various ways to support streamers monetarily, and customized emoji and GIFs similar to Twitch. On the user side, it works exactly like its competitors. You log into the official website or the iOS or Android app, find the streamer you like and watch the stream.
Like Twitch, it’s mostly used for gaming, and it plays host to both amateur streamers who just want to test the waters as well as professional e-sports players and verified content creators. Its biggest draw is being integrated with Xbox One and Windows 10 dashboards, making it easier for people on those platforms to stream. But do note that you won’t be able to stream on PS4.
How Do I Monetize My Streams?
Now here’s the big question and probably the determining factor for most people wanting to switch. Okay so let me give it to you straight not everyone who joins Mixer can start earning revenue as a partner. Mixer’s rules state that a streamer must have an account for at least two months. Once that milestone is reached, you must maintain at least 2,000 followers and stream for at least 12 days every month for a minimum of 25 accrued hours to start earning revenue. Although that’s model is similar to what Twitch has now.
Monetization options for Mixer may also seem similar to Twitch. There are channel subscriptions (that are slightly higher priced at $7.99 for a Pro account, compared to Twitch’s basic $4.99), and a tipping-like tool called Embers. Embers are similar to Twitch’s Bits, which allow fans to essentially purchase digital emotes that they can then donate to their favourite streamers. Mixer currently doesn’t have third-party advertising on the platform, but streamers can earn “synthesized ad revenue” through display ads on their page.
How Is It Different From Twitch?
Now let’s go into the differences between the two that give Mixer some major advantages to the platform. Mixer recently introduced “Season 2,” a massive platform update that introduced several new features. Among them are Skills, which allow users to put special emoji or moving characters into a streamer’s chat, or to set off effects like confetti or fireworks. From what I’ve seen, it allows viewers to get more involved in what the streamer is doing. And this is powered by the other major feature in Season 2: Sparks patronage.
Sparks is the main difference between Mixer and Twitch as it allows streamers to be paid without the viewers themselves actually having to contribute money. Essentially, people passively earn Sparks just by watching streams. Those Sparks are then transferred to a streamer, by using Skills and, once they hit a certain threshold, they can turn that into actual revenue.
It’s worth noting viewers can only spend Sparks on Mixer’s partnered streamers at the moment. The pay-offs are also only significant if the streamer has a significant amount of Sparks dumped on them — we’re talking millions per week, while the earn rate for Sparks is about 50 per minute. Pro tiered users earn twice the amount of Sparks per minute.