Mixer is Microsoft’s video game streaming app, designed in response to Twitch.
It’s an interactive platform that allows users to watch the latest games in action, share streaming experiences, and monetize their content.
While the streaming service has been around for a while, it recently made headlines after famous streamer, Ninja moved from Twitch to Mixer in August.
Additionally, Microsoft has been steadily releasing updates to the platform from more monetization opportunities to anti-trolling.
Mixer sets itself apart from Twitch and the now-defunct YouTube Gaming with a few interactive components that can impact different gameplay elements.
For example, streamers can opt to include their followers in the experience, allowing them to give streamers more ammo or health–or even take useful tools away for a more challenging experience.
As you can see here, the platform’s interactive features show up in the form of overlays, and there’s the option to include stickers in the chat.
There’s also a co-streaming option, which allows up to four users to play the game together and broadcast a split-screen stream.
That said, for those who want the traditional experience, they can opt out by using uninterrupted Let’s Plays.
Skills are a new addition to the Mixer universe, and the same is a little misleading. Skills let users show support to their favorite streamers through GIFs, animated stickers, and special effects. Any time someone uses a Skill on a streamer’s channel, the streamer gets a small financial benefit.
Sparks, another new financial incentive, gives viewers the ability to support streamers without paying for a subscription. Viewers earn sparks by watching streams and can spend them on Skills.
Another form of monetization, known as Embers isn’t yet available. But the idea is, they’ll work as a virtual currency that viewers can buy and spend on high-value skills.
Embers are similar to Sparks, but offer the streamer direct funding and bigger celebrations.
How to watch Mixer streams
Like other streaming services, all you need is an internet connection and a device to watch Mixer streams. Anyone can watch streams through their browser via Mixer.com.
There is a PC Mixer app, but it’s meant for hosting streams, not just watching. You will need to download a viewing app for Android and iOS if you’d prefer to watch on your phone.
Xbox One users can download the Mixer app to both watch and stream.
In any case, once you’ve got your app of choice set up, watching Mixer streams is as easy as tuning into Netflix or Hulu. The homescreen features some popular streams if you’re not sure where to start, or you can sort by game.
How to broadcast on Mixer?
One of the key benefits you’ll find with Mixer is, it’s relatively easy to start streaming on the platform. The first thing you need to do is make sure your Mixer account is linked to your Microsoft Account.
If you signed up back when Mixer went by the name, Beam, you’ll need to link your accounts.
- Head over to the Mixer site and log in.
- Click on your avatar—found in the top right corner and select “account.”
- Then select Link your Microsoft Account.
If using Xbox One, you won’t log in to broadcast—so you’ll need to sync your accounts on the computer.
Once you’ve done that, press the Xbox button on your controller to pull up the guide.
Scroll down to find the broadcast icon and select “broadcast your game.”
Enter a title for your stream and turn on the camera, chat, and microphone. You don’t need to enable chat or the microphone, though keep in mind that many users tune in for that interactive component.
Mixer offers a feature called MixPlay, which brings viewers and streamers together to play, chat, or even share control.
How to get people to follow you on Mixer
Ultimately, attracting followers on the platform is similar to growing a Youtube channel or getting more followers on Instagram.
A few tips:
- Offer incentives to your audience–think merch or exclusive content in exchange for reviews, shares, or subscriptions.
- Stream consistently–Don’t leave fans hanging, make sure you post content regularly so you stay top of mind.
- Promote your channel on other social media platforms–Growing a following is a cross-channel effort, post links to your streams on social platforms and consider running paid ads to bring in more followers.
- Team up with other gamers–This allows you to tap into other streamers’ audiences and brings another element into your own streams, as viewers get to see you interact with other gamers.
Can you make money?
Once you become a partner, you’ll have the ability to start making some cash from your streams.
According to Microsoft, you’ll need at least 2000 followers, stream for at least 25 hours a month, and have had an account for at least two months.
Partners gain access to ad revenue, subscription money, and get to test new features before the general public.
That said, streamers aren’t limited to this one method of monetization.
You can collect donations and tips from your audience by setting up links—similar to how podcasters use tools like Patreon to fund their shows.
A few options:
- PayPal: Add a link to your bio so viewers can support your streams.
- StreamJar: Allows you to accept tips and donations in exchange for incentives.
- StreamLabs: A free, open-source service for Windows users, StreamLabs allows you to collect PayPal donations and add overlays to your stream. This tool also comes with access to chat, allowing you to keep in touch with viewers while you broadcast.
As mentioned above, you can also monetize using the Sparks and Skills system (and soon, Embers). This digital point system, which was introduced earlier this year allows streamers to reach milestones that translate into cash payouts.
While we’re not sure how the payout translates into any meaningful cash, it’s worth noting that you don’t need to be a partner or even a popular streamer to use the system.
And then of course, there’s the monetization holy grail, sponsorship. If you’re lucky enough to catch the eye of a sponsor, this is your best bet for earning money. Though that might mean including specific products or mentioning a sponsor during streams.
Ultimately, you’ll need to invest the time and energy into building a brand around your streaming channel before you’ll see any major payoffs.
How does Mixer compare to Twitch?
Well, for starters, Mixer is available on the Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs only. Twitch streams can be watched just about anywhere—PC or Mac, Roku, Playstation, Xbox, and more.
Mixer has some advantages—but when you compare the platform to Twitch or even YouTube streaming, it’s clear that this channel is designed almost exclusively for the Microsoft set, not the gaming community as a whole.
What’s next for Mixer?
Mixer’s latest round of updates make this platform one to watch. With Ninja’s move to Mixer and new streamers joining every day, the platform’s profile is on the rise.
We’re not entirely sure how the new monetization features will play out, but it’s certainly worth checking out if you’re an Xbox or PC gamer.