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Fortnite streamer Ninja is leaving Twitch for Microsoft's Mixer

Fortnite streamer Ninja is leaving Twitch for Microsoft’s Mixer

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Tyler “Ninja” Blevins is the most popular streamer on Twitch. But in a video posted Thursday, he announced that he will be leaving Twitch to stream exclusively on Mixer from now on.

What’s Mixer? It isn’t quite a household name like Twitch, so you’d be forgiven for never even hearing about it. That said, that’s clearly what Microsoft is hoping to change by having Ninja stream on its platform.

Mixer is a Microsoft-owned streaming platform that was acquired by the software giant in 2016 under the name Beam. It’s existed as a competitor to Twitch since then, similarly hosting both amateur streamers and professional players, but it hasn’t really gained much traction. Its biggest feature is probably integrated Xbox One and Windows 10 dashboards, which makes it easier to start streaming if you’re on those platforms. 

According to a report earlier this year from Streamlabs, which also has its own broadcasting software based on OBS, there were roughly 69,000 streamers on Mixer compared to over 1.5 million on Twitch. However, Streamlabs’ latest report notes “explosive” growth on Mixer, where hours watched on the platform increased 357 percent year-on-year, reaching a total of 119 million hours. Hours streamed on Mixer went up significantly as well, increasing 43 percent from the same period last year. 

Microsoft certainly hopes that Ninja’s 14.7 million followers will follow him over to Mixer, giving the platform a huge boost in visibility. Ninja was also reportedly paid US$1 million by EA to stream Apex Legends on launch day, further testament to how much companies value popular streamers and their large audiences.

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The announcement was short on the exact details of the deal though. Presumably, Microsoft is paying Ninja a ton of money to make the switch, since his Twitch followers and subscribers won’t follow him over automatically. 

“My roots as a gamer started with Halo, so working with Microsoft and coming over to Mixer felt like a natural next step. Capturing all the great moments in gaming and sharing in the wins (and losses) with a positive, community-focused environment that we can all be proud of –- that’s why I’m here,” said Ninja in a statement. 

Ninja’s first stream on Mixer will take place at the Lollapalooza music festival that starts today. He has publicly invited Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf to join him, the 16-year-old winner of the US$3 million prize at the recent Fortnite World Cup. 

For a limited time, fans will also be able to get free subscriptions that allow for ad-free viewing. It’s not clear how many of his followers will actually go over to Mixer, but at the time of writing, he has already amassed nearly 200,000 followers. 

Unsurprisingly, Twitch has already removed Ninja’s partner checkmark and will be offering a one-month subscription of the same tier to another streamer of your choice if you’re a Ninja subscriber. 

Source: Ninja (Twitter)

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