With Twitch having dominated the market in recent years, Microsoft's Mixer and YouTube are putting some real money into their efforts.

20:00, 20 Jan 2020

For the past few years, live streaming has become widespread, mainly due to the increasing popularity of esports. But for internet live streaming, a platform must be available that provides means for content to be shared publicly on the internet, and this is why platforms like Twitch, Mixer, and YouTube exist.

Twitch:

Launched in 2011, Twitch was the first streaming site to amass great popularity and has been able to sustain its reputation over the years, despite ups and downs. Today, it averages around 10 million daily active viewers, who tune in to watch their favourite streamers. It is currently under the ownership of Amazon who acquired the company for $970 million.

Mixer:

One of the newest competitors in the game. Mixer, despite only being launched in 2016, has started gaining attention, and has become a popular choice amongst new streamers who have just recently set foot in the streaming world. This is due to the increased chances of being recognized, given that fewer gamers stream here, compared to its counterpart. Being under the ownership of Microsoft, it provides Xbox and Windows 10 users with a better streaming experience.

YouTube:

It was the first platform to provide consumers with an option to live stream their content; however, the feedback for YouTube wasn’t satisfactory and the tools for live stream seldom received an update. In 2015, Youtube Gaming was launched, as a part of  a move to diversify content from only Videos, to Live Streams. But this project didn’t last long, either, and it seemed that Youtube had given up the race. Although creators streamed on Youtube and generated views, they couldn’t be compared to those of twitch. The launch of Google’s gaming console Stadia and its YouTube integration hinted that it was time for Youtube’s revival.

Twitch Vs Mixer:

Up until the August of 2019, Twitch was thriving, Mixer gradually increasing in popularity by a negligible scale. On the 1st of August 2019, the most popular Twitch streamer announced his move to Mixer. He suggested that the reason for this move was the fact that “the company didn’t respect his wishes and hindered his ability to grow outside of gaming.”

Following his move, the analytics witnessed an unforeseen change:

Ninja Trends
via Google Trends

Ninja moved to mixer on the 1st of August, the highest interest Twitch has received ever since. This graph has a lot to portray and the changes depicted are results of other contributing factors. It is indisputable that Ninja’s move to Mixer aggravated this change but, apart from Ninja, other streamers began taking their leave from Twitch.

The second major setback for Twitch was the departure of Michael ‘Shroud‘ Grzesiek. The infamous streamer announced in a tweet, on 24th October, that he would be joining Mixer. 

Shroud Trends
via Google Trends

That wasn’t the end, though, as other streamers influenced by Ninja and Shroud started moving to Mixer, which fuelled the rise of Mixer. Here is a graph showing a comparison in Twitch’s downfall and Mixer’s rise. Although the streamers moving dented Twitch’s audience viewership, they apparently had something planned ,as they recruited Nick Eh 30 soon after Ninja’s leave. Nick Eh 30 had 4.6 million subscribers on YouTube and has successfully managed to gain over a 700,000 more on Twitch.

YouTube’s Part:

Amidst these controversies, Google launched its console: Stadia. Stadia is one of the first of its kind, allowing users to experience games stored on a server in the cloud. One of the best features of Stadia is that streamers will be able to create lobbies for fans to join and play with them on YouTube, and Stadia will support instant clipping to the video service. This was a teaser by Google of what it had in mind for the success of YouTube.

They knew that if they wanted views, they had to invite streamers who would bring views to their site. The first person to accept their offer was Jake “CouRage” Dunlop. 

He has more than 2.1 million Twitch followers and already had a sizable presence on YouTube with almost 1.9 million subscribers. Along with streaming his gameplay.

 On the 13th of January 15, 2020, three other content creators announced that they would be streaming on YouTube from now on. They are:

1. Rachell “Valkyrae” Hofstetter

2. Lannan “LazarBeam” Eacott

3. Elliot “Muselk” Watkins

All of these content creators are extremely well known. Valkyrae is a popular Twitch streamer and a member of 100 Thieves gaming clan. Valkyrae boasts almost 950 thousand followers on Twitch, with an average of 2,387 viewers and 2.9 million hours watched in 2019. LazarBeam has 12.3 million subscribers on YouTube and was the 8th most viewed channel in 2019, with a total of 2 billion Views. Muselk is also known for his gaming-related content on YouTube and has approximately 8.15 million subscribers.

Final Take:

In conclusion, it can be stated that Mixer and YouTube are on the rise and have officially enrolled themselves in the streaming competition as noteworthy participants. Although, the day where Mixer or YouTube surpasses Twitch in live streaming is far away, since Twitch is rapidly changing itself for better agreement with its clients. YouTube, on the other hand, doesn’t need to worry since, regardless of where creators are streaming, they are all uploading on YouTube. Mixer is on the rise and attracting new streamers, due to its cleaner and better interface, especially for Xbox and Windows 10 users. It is worth mentioning that Twitch’s popularity might face a slight downfall, because many streamers are parting ways with the service and its general disregard, due to some actions taken by the company over certain sensitive matters.

These are the analytics for 2018 and 2019. Mixer incurred a slight increase while Twitch had to, unfortunately, take a step back.

Twitch Market Share
via Stream Elements

While this graph is a more elaborative view comparing the last quarters of each Year. Each streaming service faced an increase with varying percentages with Twitch facing the lowest percentage.

Live Streaming Growth
via Stream Elements
Esports Calendar