Microsoft is shutting down its gaming streaming service Mixer. The tech giant had hoped Mixer could be a competitor to Amazon’s Twitch and Google’s YouTube, but the platform failed to gain the traction it needed.
Failure to Launch
Microsoft had poured millions of dollars into Mixer in an attempt to make it a strong competitor. The strategy was to create as many exclusivity deals with streamers as possible. In this way, Microsoft could steal big streamers from Twitch. The most notable content creators to join the team were Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, Cory “King Gothalion” Michael, and Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek. They weren’t enough, the platform struggled to sign more big names despite the livestream gaming’s significant growth.
In an interview The Verge, executive at Microsoft Gaming and head of Xbox Phil Spencer, said, “We started pretty far behind, in terms of where Mixer’s monthly active viewers were compared to some of the big players out there.” The viewership was so low that Ninja lost more than 10 million followers during the switch. Neither the streamers nor Microsoft executives benefited from this undertaking.
Pivoting and Progressing
In their Monday statement, Microsoft announced the service will shut down on July 22nd. After that date, the Mixer site and app will redirect to Facebook Gaming, which was first launched last April and has grown significantly during the pandemic lockdowns. The platform is different from Mixer in that it does not deal in exclusivity contracts. Facebook’s biggest streamer, Jeremy “DisguisedToast” Wang, still streams on Twitch as well. This means fans will be able to watch Mixer’s top streamers on Facebook and Twitch again. And their viewership numbers may be boosted. Furthermore, the new partnership will help in distributing Microsoft’s cloud-based streaming service.
Microsoft has taken this defeat in stride. In the past, the company has shown it knows when to pull out of a weak business venture. In 2007, Microsoft had launched a video streaming platform MSN Soapbox in an attempt to compete with YouTube. Just two years later they decided to cut their losses and shut down the site. This week Microsoft has again displayed that same business savvy.