Livestreaming is evolving and one only has to look at Microsoft’s Twitch and YouTube competitor Mixer, the new name for the livestreaming service formerly known as Beam. Along with the new name, Microsoft announced that Mixer will support a new feature called “co-streaming” as well as a new Mixer app that will eventually support mobile game streaming.
While the Mixer team admits that changing the name of their platform wasn’t an easy decision, co-founder Matt Salsamendi admits on a blog post that “it was something that we decided on as a team. We believe so much in the power of the platform and want to grow it in every major market around the world. Unfortunately, that wasn’t something we could do with the Beam name.”
Mixer is Microsoft’s inroad into the Streaming industry which in recent years has received more and more attention from advertisers. One only has to look at popular YouTube channels or Twitch channels to see the kind of audience engagement with livestreaming platforms.
Mixer, was purchased by Microsoft in August 2016 and was integrated into Windows PC and Xbox One consoles as a way to compete in the livestreaming space. Mixer already boasts features not seen on its competitors like shorter latency, and the new “co-streaming” option that allows streamers to host joint, split-screen streams with a “centralized chat experience.”
Theoretically this means that a group of streamers can play co-op on the same game and showcase individual camera views. But “co-streaming” also works if each streamer is doing something different, so two of them could be playing Overwatch while another two are busy “social-eating” or something.
The new Mixer Create app for iOS and Android also launches today with self-broadcasting functionality, but I’m actually more interested in its promise of streaming mobile games in the future. As companies like Square-Enix and Nintendo invest heavily into mobile games, it’ll be interesting to see how mobile game streaming evolves as well.
So basically if you’re a livestreamer Mixer might be an interesting new platform, but for the rest of us who are mostly livestream viewers, I look forward to see how platforms like Twitch and YouTube evolve in the future. Whether it’s YouTube’s entry towards television, or Twitch’s continued focus on the video game audience.