Microsoft is Making Changes to Mixer, Cutting Original Programming Staff

Posted on June 22, 2019 by Brad Sams in Games with 11 Comments

Microsoft’s fiscal year end arrives next week and as is tradition around this time of the year, if the company is going to make staffing changes or updates to its org structure, now is the time. On June 30th, Microsoft will close its FY2019 books and start fresh with FY2020 and one org that is seeing a shakeup is Mixer.

Back in 2016, Microsoft acquired Beam and eventually re-branded the service to The platform is used to stream games to the web where viewers can engage with the player and the service is deeply integrated into the Xbox gaming console.

Despite Microsoft’s efforts to push Mixer into the spotlight, Twitch, a rival game-streaming platform that Amazon acquired several years ago, is significantly larger and is the premier place to stream your gaming content. As of the time of this post, Fortnite is being watched by 132k streamers on Twitch with only 10k being watched on Mixer.

As we head into the new fiscal year, Microsoft is indicating that it may be moving in a new direction with Mixer as the company has laid off many employees who were related to original programming on Mixer such as Kate Yeager and many others.

Content teams for a platform are used to help promote and drive ‘sticky’ traffic to a service. The goal is to create shows and material that keeps users coming back but knowing that Mixer’s popularity is significantly behind that of Amazon’s service and there doesn’t appear to be any momentum at the moment behind Mixer, Microsoft is likely making a strategy adjustment.

As for what this means for the long-term viability of Mixer, that question is still up in the air. It’s clear that Microsoft knows the platform is not performing well and is starting to make significant adjustments to how it is utilizing the service.

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Comments (11)

11 responses to “Microsoft is Making Changes to Mixer, Cutting Original Programming Staff”

  1. skane2600

    Just another bad acquisition.

  2. madthinus

    It did not help that every time Microsoft streamed a big event on Mixer the service crapped in its pants.

  3. dspeterson

    I really enjoy Mixer, feels like there’s a different vibe there compared to Twitch. I enjoyed the original programming that these folks helped with, hopefully the new direction doesn’t make the service worse.

  4. bart

    Never knew there was original content. Do hope it will become more of a YouTube competitor.

    Would like to see the vids on there

  5. Rob_Wade

    This will likely be yet another thing MS gets/creates and then kills off. Of course, I just don't get the fascination with watching other people play a video game. I feel like it's just as boring as watching other people play sports (which is NOT something we do in our household, thankfully).

  6. PeteB

    > As for what this means for the long-term viability of Mixer

    This doesn't require a crystal ball.

  7. findle

    I won't say I called this - but I'm not surprised. Last year (18) during Phil's annual E3 interview with Jeff Gerstman of Giant Bomb, one point early in the interview Phil mentioned Jeff was on one of the Mixer shows, and thanked him and Jeff commented how that came together, etc. Pleasant chit chat. But then Phil did his sorta-scowl thing and said "Our people need to let you talk more when you are on our shows". It was quick but it struck me that's kind of a bad burn to get from your big boss on a 3rd party platform about your performance.

    There's also a slight inference that Jeff's brand of thoughtful commentary was missing on his own shows. I think Phil would prefer that to just mindless marketing blithering, you know?

    I found it a interesting moment, all the way back then.

  8. rm

    Beam should have been rebranded with Xbox in its name at least. Especially with Xbox games going to more platforms with xCloud. Then it would have had a chance.

  9. pwrof3

    I'll be glad when Mixer gets axed only because it is taking up an entire tab of navigation on my Xbox One. Go away!