As I write this, the top channel in Mixer is now broadcasting a Pokémon Yellow broadcast played by anyone in question – á la Twitch Plays Pokémon. It is labeled “YouPlay Gifts: Mixer Doomsday Group. Let’s go one last time! (Day 19/19), ”and 1,337 in attendance. Almost every other detail on the site is named after the same topic. It is largely uplifted by previous radio stations that encourage viewers to follow Twitch broadcasters and radioers on AFK but broadcast the game anyway. Although its strike may be suspended, Mixer is dead, and the site closed today with a Microsoft announcement in June.
This was not always the case. Although Mixer tracks almost every other live streaming site on almost any metric you can name, they have been able to develop a dedicated community of partners who love to broadcast on site because it is small and very sticky. It wasn’t Twitch. Mixer also started a war of segregation of people working differently, setting wages with great talent and initiating some unpopular negotiations across the industry, which could be its lasting legacy. And the technology that enabled the site was incredibly low, which meant that developers could communicate with their viewers almost in real time. But the site has never captured a large, regular audience, which requires Microsoft to specify how much it costs to keep the lights on.
I spent most of last month talking to Mixer partners about the closure. They were all amazed at how quickly things turned out; to one person, they felt as if they had lost their home. I got a real sense of community from them, as some of the broadcast on the site was almost family. Most of those people decided to go to Twitch, a place where, for some reason, they never felt welcome. For me, the most important thing about talking to those broadcasters is hearing about their departure from other activities, because their job now is to build their audience in a new environment. You can’t take all your viewers with you because there is no way to directly quantify the conditions that led to your channel – you can re-capture it, actually.
That said, you can also create a community of radio editors. Shortly after the announcement of Mixer’s “strategic partnership” with Facebook Gaming, the spreadsheet began streaming between Mixer (and earlier, Beam) a very long platform. It was a new Twitch username repository, designed to help developers find each other. There, written alphabetically and linked, it was the people who made Mixer what it is, ready to show each other again.