Ninja Leaves Twitch for Microsoft’s Mixer: Decent News 📰
Ninja, the quintessential Twitch star, told his fans via Twitter about moving to Microsoft’s Mixer. With a massive fan following over 14.7 million and counting, Ninja is a gift that keeps on giving (to Twitch). His content mostly revolves around Fortnite and Overwatch. And now Microsoft managed to snare Ninja from Twitch – was this the right decision though?
Mixer is Microsoft’s answer to Twitch, and it was launched in 2016. It isn’t nearly as popular as Twitch or YouTube gaming, which explains why Microsoft was so eager to bring Ninja to its platform.
Ninja, whose real name is Tyler Blevins, reportedly makes over $500,000 in a peak month. He managed to achieve mainstream success, which was uncommon among game streamers. He’s appeared on popular television shows like the Ellen DeGeneres Show and even teamed up with Drake to smash some radical new Internet records that no one knew existed. For those interested, Drake was on the PS4 while Ninja preferred his custom built PC.
Like many Twitch viewers, we tuned into Ninja’s live stream using our old fashioned (but smart) HDTV powered by Amazon’s slick Fire TV stick. It’s a bummer that the old device doesn’t work on Mixer yet, we’d love to see Ninja on our TV screen once again!
In a statement following Ninja’s departure, Amazon said “we’ve loved watching Ninja on Twitch over the years and are proud of all that he’s accomplished for himself and his family and the gaming community. We wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.” Now that’s a nice way to breakup with your bestie!
Meanwhile Microsoft is no stranger to failure when it comes to business. From canceling Xbox Kinect to Groove Music, it begs the question if they will make a serious impact on the live streaming community.
How Big Is Live Streaming?
Amazon and Google dominate the live streaming market right now. Mixer trails behind both YouTube and Twitch, with Twitch being at the forefront of live streaming. A report from Streamlabs states that Twitch had over 3 billion viewing hours in 2019 alone, while YouTube trails behind at 700 million. Mixer seems to be the odd one out with only 100 million.
However, all does not seem gloomy for Mixer. It has enjoyed explosive growth after coming from relative obscurity. The total viewing hours on Mixer rose by over 357%, reaching 37 million in 2018 alone, and 120 million in 2019.
What’s the Big Deal About Ninja?
Ninja is easily one of the biggest internet gaming celebrities, so much so that TIME Magazine listed him in their top 100 most influential people. It’s not uncommon to find him on the front page of mainstream news websites all over the internet. His decision to leave Twitch was reported by the likes of Business Insider and BBC.
Some experts are of the opinion that the video game streaming market is poised for a decline, at least for the moment. This is supported by the decline in viewership reported by Twitch in early 2019. Perhaps Ninja has felt this and used Microsoft as a cop-out.
The team at Microsoft probably isn’t even in it for the live-streaming market, and it is just trying to rope in as many customers into their ecosystem as possible through engagement. Mixer represents an opportunity to Microsoft for cross-selling their products and services. In other words, Microsoft is vying to replicate the same business model as Amazon.
Amazon has many subsidiaries, including Twitch, Amazon Web Services, Amazon Instant Video, and Online Retail, among others. It’s a neat and intricate web of interactivity that sells products to customers through engagement. Amazon is smart that way.