Mixer. I’m going to take a sweeping guess here and suggest that not everyone who reads my blog knows what Mixer is, right? Well, you’re in for a treat my friends, because today I’m talking about all things streaming, and more specifically, 10 things to love about Mixer.
For those of you who don’t know, Mixer is a live streaming service provided by Microsoft Xbox and is a way for gamers, creatives or anyone else to stream their content and interact with friends and followers live.
Mixer is often considered to be an alternative to Twitch, arguably the world’s largest live streaming platform. Where Mixer differs is that you can stream on it directly from your console, as well as natively through Windows.
Without getting too deeply into it, this is a pretty great way for people to get into streaming who may otherwise be thrown off by the more technical side of things. Although you can use streaming software services with Mixer in the same way you can with Twitch (for adding overlays, alerts etc), if you just want to get online, stream your game and chat away with minimal extra fuss, Mixer is an excellent way to do just that.
I feel like Mixer is maybe a more natural fit for me, and I’ve already started my streaming journey over there if you want to check out my channel and follow along as I get into it a bit more.
Anyway, here are my carefully considered 10 things to love about Mixer.
1. It Keeps Things Simple
Mixer was a lot easier for me to navigate and get started with as a first-time streamer than Twitch was. Don’t get me wrong, I love Twitch still, but I have to say that in terms of simplicity, Mixer wins hands down.
There’s a nice sort of ‘plug and play’ feel about Mixer, whereas with Twitch you’ve got to go on a bit of a learning curve before getting going. Twitch streaming involves the use of third-party software such as Streamlabs OBS or another video encoding platform. For a first-time user, this can be a bit daunting. With Mixer, you can jump straight in via your Xbox and get your broadcast up and running in minutes.
2. The Mixer Interface
I do have a few issues with some of the channel customisation settings, but on the whole, I really like the way Mixer is set up. The interface is intuitive (for the most part) and there’s a lot of room to explore and discover channels you might like. It feels a lot less cluttered to me, but that’s possibly because it’s (arguably) less populated than Twitch. Sometimes though, less really is more.
3. The Teams
This is something I really love about Mixer, the fact that you can be part of streaming teams. There’s a real community feel about the platform for me, and teams are another extension of that. You can browse the existing teams or start up your own and really make your mark on things!
4. The Community
I really think this is where Mixer sets itself apart from Twitch, if I’m honest. The community vibe on Mixer is huge, and comparably, it just feels a lot friendlier. Again, this could be because Mixer is still relatively new and not as populated (or saturated) as Twitch is.
The interactions and engagements with people I’ve had already in my short time on Mixer have been brilliant. I feel that it’s really easy to make new friends and find other creators who share your interests there. In comparison, Twitch can sometimes feel like you’re just engaging with random people each time.
It’s hard to explain, but Mixer, to me, just feels a lot friendlier.
5. Sparks, Embers, Skills And Stickers
As you watch channels or stream your own gameplay, you start earning ‘sparks’. Think of these as Mixer’s item of currency. You earn them without actually having to do anything aside from watching and creating, it’s an inherent reward. You level up the more you ear, and so on. Then you can ‘spend’ this currency in other streamers’ channels, via skills (a sort of animated emote), stickers and other interactive games that you can play while watching. It’s a pretty nice way to engage and feel like you’re rewarded just for being part of things.
Embers are slightly different in that they involve real purchases. So, if you wanted to, you could buy a load of embers and spend them on your favourite streamer’s channel. This is a great way to support your favourite content creator, if you wanted to do so.
6. Engagement And Growth
As mentioned, I feel like it’s a lot easier to grow and engage on Mixer than perhaps it is elsewhere. It might be down to the ease of use, or that there are simply fewer people to compete with. Whatever the reason, I’ve seen a marked increase in followers and engagement on my Mixer channel in a much shorter space of time than I did on Twitch. I think a lot of this boils down to the community feel of the place, and that it’s much friendlier in general (in my opinion, anyway).
Either that or people generally enjoy watching me talk absolute nonsense on camera. Who knows?
7. Partnership Opportunities
With Mixer, you have the option to apply to become a Mixer Partner once your channel meets a certain set of criteria. It’s similar to being a Twitch affiliate, but I feel as though it’s probably a more enjoyable journey, and potentially more of a rewarding one longer-term. Mixer Partners can go on to become full time, professional streamers by monetizing their channel if they wanted to. Also, Mixer seems to be at that key early adoption stage at the minute, and so it’s a great time to cultivate a partnership, if you can grow your channel to meet the requirements.
8. Support And Development
Mixer has a great set of developer tools and learning documentation. This is helpful because you can really get to understand the streaming process in an easy to grasp way. I really like the fact that you can learn how to use and develop your own channel, as with Twitch, the learning opportunities seem a bit limited.
Mixer has a large knowledge base as well as a developer lab that can be accessed from the main website. It also has a Streamer Academy, in which you can work through different modules to improve your knowledge and skills.
This is where I really rate Mixer. You have the option to co-stream with a friend or fellow creative, and share your gameplay together at the same time! This is a really cool feature in my book, and another great way to build that community feeling as well. Being able to invite someone else into your own stream, or to join in with another streamer’s game, is something I’ve never seen before on other platforms, and it’s really engaging to watch.
10. App Functionality
Mixer also has two apps that run alongside the main platform: Mixer Create and the Mixer App. With Create, you can live stream from your phone or tablet, so that if you just wanted to capture some live footage, or share your screen with your channel, then you don’t need to be on your Xbox or PC to do so.
I think this is a really great feature for artists, as I’ve used it to capture my iPad screen as I’m drawing and then stream that live to Mixer without any extra software needed. It’s also a useful app to have so that you can monitor your live chat as you’re streaming, as this can sometimes be difficult when you’re in the middle of your gameplay!
With that said, you can add your live chat window into your TV screen if you’re streaming directly from your Xbox too. Mixer has really taken a lot into consideration when it comes to console streaming, and I really like that.
10 Things To Love About Mixer – What Do You Think?
So there you have it, my list of Mixer plus points, and why I can see myself favouring it over Twitch in the long term. What do you think? Have you ever used Mixer before? I’d love to know what your thoughts are on Xbox’s streaming platform. If you haven’t had a look before, please do check it out and follow my channel to catch me doing my own streams. Although I’ll forewarn you, they’re not that professional (yet) – as a lot of the time I’m streaming over WiFi…but that’s another story.
Anyway, I hope you’ve enjoyed finding out a bit more about Mixer, and as always you can catch up with me on Twitter. If you’ve enjoyed this post, check out some of my other gaming blogs, as well as my gaming boards on Pinterest.