Mixer’s Poaching of Twitch’s Big Names Just Doesn’t Move the Needle

First it was Ninja. Now it’s Shroud. Mixer is trying to build momentum by buying big names — but can it translate to views?

Chris Stokel-Walker
FFWD
Published in
4 min readOct 24, 2019

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Image: Chris Stokel-Walker

It’s been a big year for single-name personalities and platforms. Months after Mixer, the Microsoft-owned streaming platform, managed to woo Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, at the time pretty much Twitch’s only streamer with mainstream appeal, they’ve done it again with another big name: Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek.

The deal Mixer has brokered to poach Shroud from Amazon-owned Twitch is billboard news: 20 minutes after it was announced on Shroud’s Twitter feed, the video was watched 400,000 times, and industry watchers and insiders rippled with excitement. But there’s little evidence from Mixer’s previous big-name signing that the deal to nab Shroud will do much to build a long-term audience.

The number of hours watched on Mixer didn’t increase significantly after signing Ninja, according to data compiled by live streaming platform StreamElements. While Twitch increased its market share by 3% in the last three months, Mixer saw a 0.2% increase.

However, it did have a broader impact — one that may be felt in the longer run. It built brand awareness.

“Mixer is making some bold moves, first with Ninja, now with Shroud, two of the most popular personalities on Twitch,” says Doron Nir, CEO of StreamElements.

“We’ve learned from Twitch that building a successful streaming platform is a long slow process, so whether or not these signings immediately move the needle in terms of hours watched should not be the litmus test for whether or not Mixer is making sound strategic moves. It could take years to see how everything plays out. One obvious benefit is Mixer has quickly put their name on the radar of everyone who is following the live streaming scene which is an important step in the growth process,” says Nir.

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Chris Stokel-Walker
FFWD
Editor for

UK-based freelancer for The Guardian, The Economist, BuzzFeed News, the BBC and more. Tell me your story, or get me to write for you: stokel@gmail.com