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Mixer Gifts All Partnered Streamers $100 To Help During Covid-19 Pandemic

Illustration for article titled Mixer Gifts All Partnered Streamers $100 To Help During Covid-19 Pandemic
Image: Associated Press

Even for streamers who can comfortably do their jobs from inside their homes, seemingly indefinitely, it’s impossible to ignore covid-19. Before it’s all said and done, everybody will be impacted. To help streamers make ends meet, Microsoft-owned Mixer has given all its partners $100.

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Any Mixer streamer can apply to be a partner, and if they clear various viewership and professionalism hurdles, they gain access to new monetization options, emotes, early access to new features, and other perks. Now Mixer has gifted all of its partners $100 to help them through these nauseatingly uncertain times.

Streamers have taken to Twitter to express their gratitude.

“Any gesture is helpful and so kind,” said one of Mixer’s biggest streamers, Cory “King Gothalion” Michael, who moved over from Twitch last year. “Who knows what Mixer partner $100 could be make or break for?”

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“THANK YOU Mixer for taking care of your partners & giving us extra during this hard time,” said another partner, Leckakay.

Many, many others echoed those sentiments. Some, like shoutcaster Exellion and Fortnite and cosplay streamer Lindsywood have said they plan to donate their money to smaller, non-partnered Mixer streamers.

It makes sense that Mixer would do this. In addition to streaming, some smaller Mixer partners still work regular jobs and are trying to hang onto them as unemployment soars. In addition, streamers make a big chunk of their money off subscriptions and donations from fans. As times get tougher and people start to tighten their belts, it’s unlikely that regular payments to streamers will keep flowing.

While very few people would flat-out refuse a free $100 bill, some people on Twitter have criticized Mixer—which, again, is owned by goddamn Microsoft—for the relatively paltry sum. Admittedly, it’s being paid out to thousands of partners, but even then, it doesn’t add up to all that much for a company that has deeper pockets than almost any other. On top of that, Mixer made waves last year by paying tens of millions of dollars to a few select high-profile streamers, seemingly at the expense of others whose names weren’t quite so big. So this is a small gesture, at best. But during a period in which many companies are furiously cutting costs and laying off workers, it’s something.

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This has also caused Twitch partners to wonder if the streaming kingpin will similarly see fit to toss a chunk of change their way. Twitch is owned by Amazon, so it could likely afford to do so, even though its roster of 41,812 partners is more vast than that of Mixer, a significantly smaller platform. Kotaku reached out to Twitch to ask if it has any plans to provide assistance to streamers during the pandemic, but as of this publishing, it had yet to reply.

In the meantime, streamers are suggesting initiatives Twitch could undertake to help keep them afloat.

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“Maybe Twitch could help creators by giving them a better split on [subscriptions]? Or remove excess purchase fees on bits? Just a thought. Personally don’t need it, but certainly some do,” said StarCraft II streamer and pro Gosu_PvP on Twitter.

“It’d be great if they incentivized some kind of sale on subs, bits, or whatever to help out,” said Twitch partner TheGeekChick. “I wanna believe they have something in the works, but with Amazon pulling the strings, it’s tough.”

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Kotaku senior reporter. Beats: Twitch, streaming, PC gaming. Writing a book about streamers tentatively titled "STREAMERS" to be published by Atria/Simon & Schuster in the future.

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DISCUSSION

Twitch has 27,000 partnered streamers. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find numbers for Mixer, but it’s a much newer platform and it’s much smaller.

We can estimate an approximate number by extrapolating from overall viewership. Twitch had 10 billion+ hours watched in 2019, while mixer had about 0.27 billion hours watched last year.

That works out to Mixer having about 2.7% of Twitch’s hours watched, and presumably having about the same proportion of viewers and content creators.

If we therefor assume that the number of partnered streamers is roughly proportional, then that gives us about 729 partnered streamers for Mixer.

Multiply that number by $100 each, and you get $72,900. That’s not a lot for a company like Mixer - they likely routinely spend larger amounts on regular ad campaigns for themselves trying to drum up business.

Basically instead of paying someone else to advertise their site for them, they decided to use the money to buy some good press coverage instead. This is less an act of kindness and more an act of cynical corporate brand management.