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Streamers Leave Twitch for Greener Pastures

written by Logan Brklacic June 9, 2018
The logo for Mixer and Twitch, two big streaming platforms a lot of streamers are debating about

Twitch has been many people’s go to site for streaming, whether they are just viewers or taking a swing at being one of the great streamers. But what happens when more and more well-known Twitch partners announce their departure after many years? Content creators constantly need to find a way to build their brand and stimulate growth, especially when it is a full time job.  This is why more and more streamers are making the move to Mixer and Facebook Live. With YouTube Gaming’s Adpocalypse demonetization issues currently there has been a slight decrease in people switching there. There is also Caffeine, which is an up and coming broadcasting platform co-founded by the former Product Design Lead and Senior User Experience Designer from Apple.

streamers' old home

Twitch has become over-saturated over the years. With about 30,000 partners and over 150,000 affiliates, a mid-size or small channel may find themselves a teeny tiny fish in a large purple ocean, making growth near impossible. While a mid-size stream can still grow in the current saturation, I’m not saying there is no way in hell anyone can do it, but streaming is hard. Retention is even harder! Trying to get people to come back to your channel time and time again requires something special that the streamer needs to show. Take Fortnite for example, it will bring in the views. It is the most streamed game on Twitch at the moment. The problem is, if you aren’t the best at Fortnite or can’t pull double digit kill games like Ninja can, why watch? Why not watch though? Yes, watching someone get a win can be exhilarating. You’re vicariously winning through watching them. But watching someone who isn’t pro at a game can be just as fun. Some of the funniest clips I have seen have been streamers having fun and making mistakes. We’re human, no one is perfect. Fortnite is also an example of the over-saturation on Twitch. If you’re community is small, you won’t be ranked up at the top of a game page. Because Twitch ranks the channels on a game page based on viewers, for a game like Fortnite making a name for yourself streaming it will be really hard.

“I think the mentality of Twitch has changed so much. When I first joined and was partnered in 2015, it was like… let’s all be friends and grow together and now its like… I will dropkick your entire family to get ahead.”

GeekChick, who recently swtiched to Facebook Live for streaming after three and a half years on Twitch

Mixer currently feels like old Twitch, and I say currently because it’s still new. Who is to say the “problems” people have with Twitch since Amazon’s acquisition won’t happen to the new platforms? As a platform grows, so too does it’s business.  The companies running these content creation platforms are businesses. They are not running these services out of goodwill and things people view as “money grabs” are going to happen. With Mixer currently being a smaller newer platform, the grass looks greener. People who stream on Mixer talk about how super attentive the support staff are. This could be now because of how small it is. Mixer currently has about 500 partnered streamers in their partner program. Their support staff isn’t spread as thin as Twitch’s staff could be among the 30,000 partners and 150,000 affiliates. Mixer isn’t a horrible platform though. They offer some features not offered on Twitch.  Mixer offers “fast as light” zero delay on channels, allowing the streamer to better connect with their community. No delay means the streamer can answer a question or comment quickly, if they aren’t super focused at the time. Another feature I hear about is the ability to watch two streams on the same page. If two streamers are streaming together you can watch both streams on one page. This is similar to Twitch streamers using a multitwitch page, but this is integrated right into Mixer.

Streamer playing a helicopter game, while his desk is littered with crumpled Red Bull cans

Gamer playing a helicopter flying game

Many speculators of these streamers moving say it was for the money.  While yes this is the full time job for a lot of these streamers, community is their primary focus. It’s something I hear from streamers all the time. Community, community, community. Streamers moving to Mixer do not report money being the primary factor. It has been reported though that Facebook is paying content creators to come stream on their platform. The Wall Street Journal did a report in 2016 about a leaked Facebook deal to give 24 content creators 2.2 million dollars to use Facebook Live streaming services.

Mixer and Facebook Live are still in the process of growing, but Twitch is not done growing at all. According to StreamLabs, Twitch’s viewership has grown 21% from Q4  2017, to Q1 2018. Facebook and Mixer’s growth percentages are higher, but again a smaller platform has no where to go but up. Streamers are good indicator on the health of a platform. With Twitch’s concurrent streamers increasing by 33%, it’s a good indicator that it’s not going away any time soon.

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What do you think about streamers moving from Twitch to Mixer? Has your favourite streamer decided to move? Let us know in the comments.

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