For streamers it can be a difficult decision as to which platform you should choose. Which live-streaming platform is best, Mixer vs Twitch?
For years, the number one service for live-streaming was always Twitch. But more recently, as the world of streaming has increased in popularity, more competitors are entering the market. It’s no longer just Twitch anymore. Streamers are now looking at Mixer vs Twitch vs YouTube vs whichever new platform wants to have a go at dethroning the big guys.
Twitch has a much greater market share, but that’ll make it hard to get discovered. Mixer has fewer users, but there’s less competition.
As a result, it can become a bit of a headache, which is what we want to help you within this article on Mixer vs Twitch, and help you decide which platform you should launch your streaming career on.
Mixer vs Twitch: Pros and Cons
- Bigger audience
- Slightly better monetisation options
- More partnerships with games
- Intuitive UI
- Powerful analytics
- Easy-to-navigate library of on-demand videos
- Instant streaming technology
- More effective support and moderation
- Xbox integration
- Split-screen streaming with up to 3 friends
- Possibility for your chat to interact with your game
- Difficult to get noticed
- Controversial moderation standards
- Lower quality support compared to Mixer
- More toxic community (trolls, spammers, etc.)
- Robust monetisation system requires partner status
- Smaller audience
- Difficult to find older content and VODs
- Harder to stream from PS4
Even while writing this article, I noticed Mixer are rolling out updates at a much faster pace than Twitch. I will update the article in the future as things develop, but as of December 2019 the information is accurate.
Why You Should Stream on Twitch:
There’s no doubt that it’s is the live-streaming behemoth, but why is Twitch so popular?
Since becoming the first major website to host streaming services for gamers after pivoting from justin.tv, Twitch has constantly been developing, updating, and improving their platform in order to create the best service available on the internet.
Out of the loop? Read: The Complete Guide to Twitch
Twitch Has a Much Bigger Audience
The most obvious reason as to why you should choose Twitch over Mixer is due to its massive viewer base. While it has its cons, which we’ll discuss later, being able to put your content in front of millions more people makes it easier to carve out a niche. Regardless of what you like to stream, you’re likely to find an audience that wants to watch you.
So far in 2019, Twitch has racked up more than 7.5 billion hours watched, and we can expect that number to hit 10 billion by the end of the year. Compare this to Mixer which saw only 270 million hours watched during the same period and it’s easy to see the vast difference in popularity between the two services.
However, it’s worth noting that Mixer’s numbers will likely rise dramatically in the last quarter of the year due to popular streamers moving over to the Windows platform. Also, we’re already seeing a large influx of unique channels streaming on Mixer, while Twitch is on the decline.
Data is taken from the Streamlabs & Newzoo Q3 2019 Live Streaming Industry Report
It’s Easier to Make Money on Twitch (for now)
While Mixer has some robust monetisation options, some of which are superior to Twitch, a lot of them are available to partners.
If you’re not aware of how it works on Twitch, there are two tiers when you’re a streamer – affiliate and partner. But, what are they and how do they work?
Becoming an affiliate is much easier than becoming a partner, but with the size of Twitch, it can be difficult to achieve. It requires you to have broadcast at least 500 minutes in the last 30 days with at least 7 unique broadcasts in the same time. You also need to have an average of 3 concurrent viewers or more over 30 days and finally, you need to have at least 50 followers.
When you become an affiliate it will unlock certain bonuses such as:
- The ability for viewers to subscribe to your channel for $4.99/m
- Letting people cheer using bits
- 1 subscriber emote
- Priority streaming access
In order to become a Twitch partner, it’s going to take much longer than it does for affiliation. It’s up to you to apply for partnership, and they take each request on a case-by-case basis.
However, they have some general guidelines in place for streamers to aspire to. These are to stream for 26 hours in the last month on at least 12 different days and average over 75 viewers in the last month. It might not seem like a big step up, but garnering 75 average viewers is no easy feat, and often takes people years of dedication and hard work to achieve.
You do get access to some pretty great bonuses when you reach it, though:
- Custom cheer emotes
- Up to 50 subscriber emote slots
- The ability to run adverts
- A greater revenue split from each subscription
- Longer VOD storage
- Priority support
- Faster payment
The way these tiers are set up generally makes it quite easy for people to start earning money on Twitch, with huge potential to turn it into a career later down the line.
Mixer will soon be making subscription options available to ALL streamers regardless of their size, as well as embers (their version of Twitch). For now, though, Twitch is just about holding on to the top spot in this Mixer vs Twitch debate.
Twitch Has Better Analytics
This might seem like a small factor, but for a lot of streamers, it’s a very important one. You want to know as much information as you can about who’s watching your channel, how long people are viewing you for, and a number of other interesting statistics.
While Mixer has some interesting features, such as being able to see which games are hot this week which allows streamers to target trending games and potentially market to a wider audience, it still has a bit of way to go in terms of raw analytical power.
Videos on Demand (VODs) Are Easier to Discover
This is one area that Twitch outshines Mixer by quite a bit. The ability to easily find a streamer’s past broadcasts, uploads, highlights and clips make it a much better experience for the viewer. It also benefits the streamer a great deal, too. Having your viewers able to go back and watch all of your streams takes a lot of pressure off you to guide them to the right place.
You can guarantee Mixer will improve their usability if their recent update progress is anything to go by. But right now the edge goes to Twitch. Most likely because they’ve had years of development time to hone their user experience to be the best that it can be.
Why You Should Stream on Mixer
Okay, we’ve covered the pros of streaming on Twitch in detail. But what about the David of live-streaming, how does it compete against the Goliath in this Mixer vs Twitch debate?
Lightning Fast Streaming Technology
When I first tried live-streaming on Twitch, I remember there being a 15-30 second delay between me and my chat. Now that time is down to a few seconds, which is definitely a huge improvement and contributes a lot to the viewer experience.
However, when I checked out the ‘near-instant’ streaming offered by Mixer I was blown away. You’re able to talk in real-time to your chat, or about as close to real-time as you can get, and it’s just like you’re having a conversation with your viewers. You can get feedback and answers as soon as you ask questions, and it really helps to build a connection with your audience – which is crucial if you want to become a successful streamer.
Co-Host Streams With Your Friends
This is a really interesting feature that I wasn’t aware of initially. It’s also something I would have loved to have had access to back in my days as a streamer, especially while racing against my friends.
Basically, Mixer co-streaming allows you to easily broadcast yourself and up to 3 friends’ screens onto your stream. If you’re taking part in a tournament, playing a multiplayer game. or racing against each other then this is an amazing addition to your streaming arsenal.
I think it will only affect a small subset of streamers, but if you’re the kind of person that can put it to good use then it could be a powerful tool for you to help build up your career.
Xbox Integration and Playing with Your Favorite Streamers
If you weren’t aware already, Mixer is owned by Microsoft. As a result, it’s not surprising that they’ve made it incredibly easy for people playing on their console to watch and stream their favorite games. At the touch of a button within the Mixer app, you can be streaming to your audience online.
On top of this, one feature I love is the ability to play along with streamers on Mixer through something called MixPlay. If they’re playing a MixPlay enabled game you could potentially have the option to interact directly with their game by giving them rewards or making it more difficult, as well as having the chance to take over their controller completely making for some hilarious (and chaotic) gaming moments.
As more games become compatible with this feature I think there’s a huge amount of potential to be realised, so it’s something I’ll be keeping an eye on in the future.
The Cons of Streaming on Mixer vs Twitch
Hopefully, you’ve got a better idea about the positives of each streaming platform in the debate between Mixer vs Twitch. Unfortunately, neither Twitch nor Mixer are perfect. Each service has its cons, and while they’re not going to have a huge effect on your experience it’s still worth talking about them.
Twitch Moderation is Controversial
It seems like every other day you hear another story about how a streamer has been banned without any violations, yet larger streamers can get away with whatever they want with no repercussions.
As it turns out, there are no real standards being kept in terms of moderation. Each case is handled by a different moderator, and it can be entirely up to them to decide your fate. Even if you did nothing wrong, if a moderator takes personal offence to your violation then they can instantly ban you without warning.
This can have huge effects on smaller streamers that haven’t accessed partner status yet. They can’t contact support and are often left in the dark and shoved into a low-priority queue to get their problem fixed. If you’re considering streaming anything controversial then perhaps you’d best stay away from Twitch for the meantime. Just my two cents.
Difficult to Get Noticed on Twitch
It’s not surprising that with the number of streamers on the platform that if you’re just starting out it’s going to be difficult to get noticed. It’s like picking out a specific teaspoon of water from a lake. You’re just going to blend in with the crowd. The upside of this is that if you do gain traction, there’s a much bigger pool of people that can watch you.
As long as you treat streaming like a business, and don’t expect to just views by turning on your computer and playing, you should be okay.
Mixer Has a Poor Audience to Streamer Ratio
With big streamers like Ninja and Shroud jumping over to the platform, Mixer has seen a huge increase in the number of new streamers on the website. However, the number of viewers hasn’t increased to match.
What this means is that you have too much supply and not enough demand. So, while it’s easier to get noticed, it’ll be difficult to cut a bigger piece of the viewership pie as so many people are vying for competition. This will likely change in the future as more people start using Mixer over Twitch, but for now it’s a problem for potential streamers.
Difficult to Stream from PlayStation to Mixer
This is a pretty minor problem for the majority of people, but there’s no way to natively stream to Mixer from PlayStation consoles. It can be circumvented through the use of a capture card, but for those of you with a PS4 that want to stream, then Twitch is definitely the better option for now.
Mixer vs Twitch: The Final Verdict
With so many benefits to both platforms, you might think it’s difficult for us to recommend a winner. However, in my personal opinion, I think the edge slightly goes to Mixer.
In the short term, you have the potential to gain a bigger audience through Twitch, but with the speed of Mixer’s development and its rising surge in popularity, I expect Mixer to start making much faster progress.
To me, it comes down to Mixer having a better community, an easier startup period for new streamers, faster websites and technology, and more advanced features.