Mixer is a Seattle-based video game live streaming platform. The service officially launched on January 5, 2016 as Beam, under the ownership of co-founders Matthew Salsamendi and James Boehm. The service carries an emphasis on interactivity, with low stream latency and a platform for allowing viewers to perform actions that can influence a stream.
Type of site
|Streaming video service|
|Available in||21 languages|
|Founder(s)||Matthew Salsamendi |
|Launched||January 5, 2016|
Mixer uses a low-latency streaming protocol known as FTL ("Faster Than Light"); the service states that this protocol only creates delays of less than a second between the original broadcast and when it is received by users, rather than 10–20 seconds, making it more appropriate for real-time interactivity between a streamer and their viewers. In addition, viewers can use buttons to interact with the stream (such as voting, triggering effects, or influencing gameplay). Users can spend "Sparks" (earned for watching and participating in streams) to activate these interactivity features, and Mixer support can be integrated into games via an SDK.
In November 2018, the site unveiled a major update branded as "Season 2", including features launching immediately, and plans for upcoming features. The update added automatic quality adjustment for the player, "Skills"—a feature that can be used to trigger special animations and effects in chat. Some premium skills are purchased using the paid currency "Embers"; channels can receive revenue from Embers spent by their viewers. Partnered streamers can also receive payment bonuses based on the volume of Sparks spent on their channels. In April 2019, Mixer added "Channel Progression"—a level system for tracking users' engagement with a particular channel over time. Users can receive benefits to reward their long-term participation.
Users can also purchase subscriptions to individual channels that are Mixer partners, which allows access to exclusive emoticons, and adds a badge to their name in chat commemorate their support. Initially, these were priced at US$5.99 per-month. In October 2019, Mixer announced that the price would be lowered to $4.99, matching the price of subscriptions on the competing service Twitch.
Beam launched on January 5, 2016. In May 2016, Beam won the Startup Battlefield competition at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference, receiving $50,000 in equity-free funding.
On August 11, 2016, Beam was acquired by Microsoft for an undisclosed amount. The service's team was integrated into the Xbox division. On October 26, 2016, Microsoft announced that Beam would be integrated into Windows 10. Beam broadcasting was also integrated into Xbox One on the March 2017 software update.
On May 25, 2017, Microsoft announced that Beam had been renamed Mixer, as the previous name could not be used globally. The re-branding came alongside the introduction of several new features, such as the ability for a user to co-host up to three other streams on their channel at once, as well as the companion mobile app Mixer Create. It was also announced that Mixer would receive top-level integration within the Xbox One dashboard, with a new tab curating Mixer streams.
On July 31, 2019, video game streamer Ninja announced that he would move exclusively from Twitch to Mixer beginning August 1. The deal was considered to be a major coup for Mixer, as Ninja had been among Twitch's top personalities, with over 14 million followers. His wife and manager Jessica Blevins stated that the contract with Twitch had encumbered his ability to "grow his brand" outside of gaming, and that his interest in streaming had been deteriorating due to the perceived "toxic[ity]" of Twitch's community.
A report by Streamlabs and Newzoo reported that in the third quarter of 2019, Mixer had a 188% quarter-by-quarter increase in the amount of unique hours of content being streamed on the service, but that the percentage of concurrent viewers had fell by 11.7%. Mixer founders Boehm and Salsamendi both left Microsoft in October 2019. The same month, streamer shroud also entered into an exclusivity agreement with Mixer, followed shortly afterward by KingGothalion.
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