Some big news in the gaming sphere.
Today, Microsoft has announced that it's shutting down its Mixer game-streaming platform, and merging existing Mixer users over to Facebook Gaming.
As per Mixer:
"It became clear that the time needed to grow our own live-streaming community to scale was out of measure with the vision and experiences that Microsoft and Xbox want to deliver for gamers now, so we’ve decided to close the operations side of Mixer and help the community transition to a new platform. To better serve our community’s needs, we’re teaming up with Facebook to enable the Mixer community to transition to Facebook Gaming."
Indeed, Mixer has struggled to gain momentum, despite making significant investment into expanding its streaming platform.
In August last year, Mixer made a big splash by signing Fortnite's biggest star Tyler 'Ninja' Blevins to an exclusive, multi-year streaming deal, believed to be within the $30 million range. Microsoft additionally signed other gaming stars in the hopes of luring bigger audiences across. And while those efforts have had some impact, the most recent stats from StreamElements underline Mixer's ongoing struggles to build a viable audience.
Conversely, the same chart above underlines the growing momentum of Facebook Gaming, which Facebook has increasingly been looking to expand and improve, with new additions like a dedicated Facebook Gaming app and improved monetization tools for streamers.
Now, Facebook Gaming will get a boost from the crossover Mixer audience.
"The Mixer service will continue to run through July 22, 2020. After that, Mixer.com will redirect to fb.gg, Facebook’s desktop home for gaming video, Mixer broadcasting on Xbox One will be temporarily disabled and the Mixer apps will notify or redirect viewers to continue watching their favorite streamers at Facebook Gaming."
Given the added exposure Mixer saw via Xbox consoles, it's somewhat surprising that Facebook has been able to gain more momentum, but then again, Facebook does have the advantage of audience, and more experience in boosting live-streams. Facebook Gaming now serves more than 700 million monthly active users, and the addition of Mixer's audience will help to further its ambitions to take on YouTube and Twitch for market share in an increasingly important area for online content consumption.
Facebook says that Mixer Partners will be granted partner status with Facebook Gaming, and they'll match partner agreements as closely as possible.
"We’re working with Microsoft to invite streamers participating in Mixer’s open monetization program to join our Level Up Program."
Mixer's marquee gaming stars, including Ninja and Shroud, will be freed of their contractual obligations, and can re-join Twitch, or switch over to Facebook Gaming.
From a digital marketing standpoint, it's important to note the shifts in gaming, as gaming culture is hugely influential, particularly among younger audiences. Five of the top 10 channels on YouTube in 2019 were directly connected to the gaming community, while gaming, overall, is projected to become a $196 billion industry by 2022.
With that type of traction, and audience, gaming will become an increasing area of focus for marketers moving forward, particularly as younger users who've grown up with game streaming move into adulthood, and more viable spending demographics.
If there are opportunities for your business to connect with gamers, it's worth considering - and again, as time goes on, more of your audience will indeed be influenced by gaming and game-related content.