What Is Mixer? How to Start Streaming on This Twitch Alternative
Live-streaming can now be considered mainstream entertainment. Popular streamers attract thousands of viewers, and are celebrities in their own right.
Streaming has become a lucrative career option. Anyone can become a streamer. All you need is a computer and a streaming service like Twitch or Mixer. Here’s everything you need to know about what is Mixer and how to start streaming on Mixer.
What Is Mixer?
Mixer is a live streaming platform owned by Microsoft. Formerly known as Beam, Microsoft acquired the platform in 2016 in an attempt to compete with similar platforms like Twitch and YouTube.
All Mixer streams feature a live video feed and a chat room for the viewers to communicate in real-time with the streamer and other viewers. Most streams are of gameplay, though other channels specialize on music, or talking to the audience via camera (also known as IRL streaming).
Mixer is available as a website and a smartphone app and is part of the Microsoft Windows 10 Game Bar and Xbox One Menu.
How Does Mixer Work?
For most people, Twitch is synonymous with streaming. While Twitch is undoubtedly the most popular streaming platform, it doesn’t do anything particularly unique when compared with others. Mixer and Twitch both work by streaming whatever is on the broadcaster’s screen into a web browser for a live audience.
Both Mixer and Twitch allow viewers to interact with streamers directly. This can be through alerts triggered by donations, or by paying a monthly subscription to the streamer. Full streams and short clips from past streams are also available when a streamer isn’t live.
Mixer offers the same features as Twitch, along with many other forms of interaction and progression. Whenever you’re streaming or viewing, your Mixer account will gain Sparks and EXP, which can be used to earn rewards both as a streamer and a viewer.
Why Is Mixer Gaining Popularity?
— Ninja (@Ninja) August 1, 2019
Mixer has been active for several years, and many people have chosen it as their platform for streaming. Despite this, it was still relatively unknown. Streaming itself has only gained mainstream traction in recent years, so this is perhaps not too surprising.
What changed? In a word, Ninja, otherwise known as Tyler Blevins. In August 2019, Ninja announced he was leaving Twitch in favor of Mixer.
This was an incredible coup for Microsoft, as Ninja is among the biggest names in live streaming. His Fortnite streams on Twitch have broken every record previously set for streaming, and he had close to 15 million followers before leaving the platform.
The move from Twitch to Mixer attracted many of Ninja’s Twitch followers. It has also inspired many streamers to try and get involved with Mixer, hoping to gain audiences from the hype surrounding Ninja’s move.
Who Streams on Mixer?
Different streaming platforms specialize in different things. Since Mixer is relatively young it doesn’t have many celebrities as yet, but it has firmly placed itself in the same position as Twitch as a gamer-friendly place.
While Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter support live streams, they rarely feature gaming.
YouTube streams are more gaming-oriented, but frequently also feature coverage of events like E3, GDC, and other gaming conferences.
Currently, Mixer mostly accommodates gaming and IRL streams, though the company plans to branch out in the future.
Regardless of the platform, games like Fortnite, Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, and Minecraft are the most popular. You’ll find them all well represented on Mixer.
How to Get Started With Mixer
Mixer streams are viewable using any browser. Head to Mixer.com, and you can start watching streams straight away. The home page features streamers who are currently live. You can also choose to browse via game, or view one of the many curated Mixer channels which show a variety of content from across the platform.
While you can watch without an account, you’ll need one to interact with streamers and chat rooms. If you already have a Microsoft or Xbox Live account, you can use this to log in to Mixer.
Alternatively, the Mixer app is available for both Android and iOS and features optimization for smartphone and tablet viewing.
Download: Mixer for iOS | Android (Free).
How to Start Streaming on Mixer
One of the benefits of Mixer compared to other platforms is the ease with which you can start streaming. Usually, an extra piece of software such as Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) or Xsplit is required. This software acts as a bridge between your game and camera and the streaming platform.
Windows users can skip this step by streaming to Mixer straight from the Game Bar: press Win + G to bring up the Game Bar, and select the Start Broadcasting icon on the right.
Sign in if prompted, and choose your camera and microphone settings. Name your stream, take note of your Mixer URL, and click Start Broadcast to begin streaming.
That’s it! Your broadcast will begin and be viewable at your Mixer URL.
How to Stream on Mixer From Mobile Devices
You can also stream on Mixer using a Smartphone or Tablet. You’ll need to download the Mixer Create app for iOS or Android. Once downloaded, open the app and sign in.
You’ll be greeted with a broadcasting menu where you can choose your stream title and category. You can also add a recommended age range for the stream audience. Click the broadcast logo, to select whether you’ll stream your camera, a game, or both.
It is worth noting that you will need a reasonably beefy device like a dedicated gaming phone to stream gameplay. This is true no matter which streaming platform you choose.
Download: Mixer for iOS | Android (free).
Is Mixer the Future of Streaming?
With all the hype surrounding Ninja’s move to Mixer, and the new streamers starting to use the service every day, Mixer is on the rise. That said, streaming is about the celebrities who people tune in to watch gaming.
If you want to start streaming, most tips to build an audience for your live streaming channel have nothing to do with the platform you choose.
There’s Twitch, Mixer, and, despite the fact Google has killed the YouTube Gaming app, there are plenty of YouTube Gaming alternatives for gamers as well.