The world of video game livestreaming continues to grow, and with the recent slew of COVID-19 lockdowns keeping everyone indoors, numbers have skyrocketed.
A recent report suggests that livestream viewership increased by 99% in one year, with Amazon’s Twitch seeing a 101% increase in hours watched, and Google’s YouTube Gaming experiencing a 65% increase in the same metric. Facebook Gaming shockingly dwarfed the growth of both streaming giants with a 238% increase, going from 86 million hours watched in April 2019, to 291 million hours watched in April 2020.
The odd man out is Microsoft’s Mixer, who will continue to be the butt of every joke after seeing only a .02% year over year increase in hours watched. Mixer might also be going through some internal turmoil, as reports suggest that new management, budget cuts, and layoffs have caused morale to plummet to new lows.
All of this seems to paint a grim picture for Microsoft’s platform, but former Twitch darling and current Mixer star, Michael “shroud” Grzesiek, doesn’t seem to be worried.
Firstly, shroud explained that it’s not quite fair to compare Mixer to other platforms like Twitch and YouTube because they had something to build off of.
“I think what a lot of people don’t take into account when it comes to Mixer’s growth is the fact they essentially started from nothing,” shroud said. “There’s nothing to grab a hold of to help them.”
The 25-year-old has a point here, as all three of Mixer’s biggest competitors either already had established brands, or in Twitch’s case, were able to get in at the ground floor and be one of the first of its kind.
Shroud went on to explain that Mixer’s smaller size could wind up being its boon, as the over-saturation of streamers on bigger platforms can make it hard for new streamers to get noticed.
Shroud said, “if you’re somebody that wants to start livestreaming, why would you do it somewhere that’s oversaturated? You’d go somewhere where you’d think you’d have more success or somewhere that you like better, right? That’s kind of what Mixer’s trying to be. They’re trying to be that haven for those people. The new people.”
Despite the fact that Mixer might be struggling to keep up with its contemporaries, shroud says that it’s important to just “sit there, and fucking wait.”
He says that Microsoft is well equipped to do just that because of their size and amount of resources.
“They can sit there and wait forever. So that’s how I know Mixer has a very very good, good chance to succeed. Because they have the resources to wait it out, and that’s what you need to build a streaming platform,” the Mixer star said.
We’ll eventually find out if shroud’s optimism about Mixer is accurate or not, but one thing’s for sure. Livestreaming is here to stay.
Max is a freelance writer based in Vancouver, Washington. Armed with a BS in Game Design, he is mainly focused on covering Call of Duty, Legends of Runeterra, and streamer culture for Level Push.