Enter Mixer Season 2: Rising to the challenge of Twitch
The Microsoft-owned video game streaming service, Mixer, has announced all new features for it's self-declared "Season 2" for users. When their biggest opponent in the streaming game is Twitch, owned by Amazon, they can't afford to pull any punches when crafting a one-of-kind experience.
Naturally, the Mixer team needs to attract quality streamers as well as viewers, and that means they need to help their creators get paid. Most of their new features solve that conundrum while simultaneously offering more user-friendly options than the technical world of MixPlay.
So what's new?
Season 2 comes with a compact list of new and upcoming features for viewers and streamers alike to enjoy:
With building a truly engaging experience at its core, Mixer rolls out a slew a new interactive options for chat. This includes gifs, animated stickers, and even graphic effects like laser shows, fireworks, and bouncing beach balls (just in time for fall).
As an added bonus - and an extra incentive streamers are sure to notice - the use of Skills financially benefits your favorite creators. To use skills, however, you'll need Sparks.
Audiences earn "Sparks" simply by watching streams, which isn't altogether new to Mixer. However, now they can then spend that completely free to earn currency on creators' channels, via either MixPlay interactive buttons or those new Skills.
Sparks add up over time toward milestones that correlate to financial payouts for streamers. This mean you can help creators pay their bills without dishing out on donations.
As the flip-side of Sparks, this patronage is of the paid variety. Special -- dare I say "enhanced" -- skills can only be unlocked with embers. Using this flashier skill set in chats also leads to bigger payouts for streamers.
Think of Mixer Progression as viewer rankings or levels rewarded based on participation. With the recognition that not everyone can afford to donate and subscribe, these ranks or levels consider more than financial contributions. In fact, they extend to cover a user's involvement in chats, skill use, daily activity, and even applause received from other viewers.
Gain points through your actions to unlock higher ranks, not to mention new skills. At the bottom rung lie viewers and at the top you'll see VIPs, with various other titles in-between.
Just note that those last two features are still coming soon, including the Applause action mentioned above.
When competition benefits the user experience, everybody wins
"Our ambition is to deliver the most engaging, community-first live streaming service." - Natalie Domingo, Head of Partnerships
According to GeekWire, Mixer hit 20 million monthly active users this past June. This growth is nothing to scoff at considering it started at 100,000 when Microsoft stepped in in 2016. The only problem? Twitch clocks in at a whooping 15 million daily active users. Ouch. That leaves some major ground for Mixer to cover if they truly want to compete.
We'll have to wait and see if Season 2 successfully propels Mixer even further.
Will you be taking advantage of Mixer Season 2? The variety in Mixer's new currencies takes the place of advertisers vying for their chance in the spotlight - does this difference influence the platform you jump to? Or are you swayed most by a handful of already beloved streamers? Share your thoughts in the comments!