Twitch’s Megastar Ninja’s abandoning the Amazon-owned streaming service in favor of Microsoft’s Mixer sent ripples through the whole streaming community.
The move probably prompted numerous viewers and streamers to ask themselves, “Is it time to focus more on Mixer instead of Twitch?”. What could have been the reason that Ninja followed by other professional-level streamers like Shroud and King Gothalion switched to a relatively new platform, leaving their millions of followers behind?
The choice of platform matters a lot, whether one wants to take their streaming career to a professional level or continue it as a hobby. So let’s see if Mixer is better than Twitch and which one of the two networks is better for you.
Mixer is baked right into the Xbox and Windows
Most of us have got things wrong while setting up a stream due to the complex notions of Twitch Streaming. To broadcast your activity live on Twitch, one has to acquire a third-party software that can stream your gameplay online, like OBS or Xsplit. Afterward, you need to link your Twitch account with the software, and then you can get things rolling on your stream.
However, Mixer offers a more convenient method. In case you want to broadcast your Xbox gameplay, you have to tap your Xbox button while in the game and select start broadcasting. The same procedure applies for a Windows 10 PC running Spring Creator update (version 1703 or later), you have to tap Windows + G in the first step. With an undemanding streaming setup, Mixer outstands Twitch smoothly.
Stream Latency is the delay between the streamer’s camera, capturing an event, and the event being displayed to viewers.
For example, if you’re watching Ninja’s Fortnite stream, you don’t want your experience spoiled by comments, notifications, or even the friend next door celebrating the game-winning hit before you see it. This results in unhappy fans and dissatisfied viewers. For some streaming use cases, latency is a business-critical consideration for streamers. Mixer from the day it started understood that latency problems can have a significant impact on user experience.
In the case of YouTube Gaming and Twitch, streamer and viewers are often separated by stream delay, the amount of time it takes for things to reflect on the stream after it has happened in the gameplay. One can counter the high latency on Twitch by enabling “Low Latency Mode,” but this significantly reduces the quality of the stream.
It’s an aggressive approach towards providing viewers with a much better watching experience, something that Twitch would still want to work upon.
Viewer-centric reward system
Unlike Twitch’s system that rewards its viewers based on how much money they have spent on streams, Mixer rewards its users with some benefits based on how much time they have spent on watching streams.
It’s a small step towards making every minute spent on Mixer worth watching. This is something that every user would want, enjoy benefits without actually spending real money. The big picture of an interactive reward system like this will definitely help Mixer in the long, especially when competing against Twitch and YouTube gaming, two giants that have already settled well into this business.
Co streaming: A much interactive way to stream
Mixer allows co-operative streaming, in which up to four friends can stream their entire gameplay session and chat in a single viewing experience. Its cross-platform support and broadcasts in 4K UHD make it an excellent option for co-operative gaming, something that’s fresh for streaming platforms.
Co-streaming on Mixer doesn’t require broadcasters to do the same activity or play the same game, and you can join a co-stream with pals who are streaming from different kinds of devices. For instance, you can invite your friends to co-stream with you directly from the Xbox Guide.
Setting something up like this on Twitch would be a logistical nightmare for broadcasters. Viewers would have no choice but to open four browser windows, each with their own chat stream. They would be compelled to keep switching back and forth between streamers to know what’s going on, making the entire experience disruptive and inconvenient. Recently, Twitch inaugurated a co-streaming feature by the name of Squad Streaming, but it is currently limited to Twitch Partners.
A more interactive way to watch
Mixer offers a much more interactive experience to its viewers than any other streaming services. From voting on which weapons the players should use and what actions the player should take to bringing special audio effects into a game with a soundboard, you’re in for a splendid viewing experience.
Viewer interaction is often rewarded, and further interaction options can be unlocked. In 2019, Mixer started Embers, a special currency that viewers can buy with actual money for supporting their favorite streamers or sending customized animated greetings during a stream. Twitch also recently rolled out its Extensions feature, a way for Twitch community to interact with each other by means of heat maps and real-time game data overlays to mini-games, music requests, and leaderboards.
However, unlike Twitch, Mixer has been offering an interactive experience to viewers since day one. Twitch recently began experimenting with rolling out digital goodies like chat badges for its viewers.
Build a solid audience
Ninja gave various reasons for the switch, including his desire to get back in touch with his roots.
Mixer is still fresh, and there’s a lot for streamers to explore. With a rugged competition on Twitch to score audience, aspiring streamers are struggling big time to find the attention they deserve. A new platform that Mixer offers, aspiring streamers can build a substantial audience without facing much competition from the popular names.
Since the transfer of Twitch icons like Ninja and Shroud to Mixer, the platform will be gaining popularity in no time, and attracting the audience will become tough again. While you have time, switch your streaming platform to Mixer and get things rolling as soon as possible.
Mixer has a lot of great things going for both viewers and streamers. However, it lacks in numbers: viewership on Mixer streams come nowhere close to those on Twitch. Mixer might not be the mammoth streaming platform that Twitch is, but its experimental notions offer something fresh for both streamers and viewers. Its uber-cool features like co-streaming and interactive panels offer something crisp, something that no other streaming platform features.
Twitch is slowly adapting features like co-streaming, and before it gets too hard for Microsoft’s Mixer to stand out, it’s worth checking out. There are even ways to stream on both Mixer and Twitch simultaneously. So, get out there while you still have time and start streaming.