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 Mixer.com. 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.