Popular streamer Ninja, whose real name is Tyler Blevins, came up with some surprising news yesterday. Ninja, who gained popularity due to his Fortnite streams, announced that he is leaving Twitch and will now stream exclusively on Microsoft Mixer.
Ninja, who is Twitch’s most popular star with 14.7 million followers, announced the news of ditching Amazon’s Twitch via a fake press conference. The streamer said that nothing will change in terms of content as “It’s the same me, just a different platform.”
— Ninja (@Ninja) August 1, 2019
“I’ll be streaming on Mixer full-time now and I’m honestly at a loss for words. I’m freaking out in the best ways. I feel like I’m going to get back to the streaming roots,” Blevins, 28, said.
If you are wondering why he talked about getting back to “streaming roots” it’s because Blevins started as a Halo streamer. The next Halo game, Halo Infinite, will debut in Holiday 2020.
“We’ve loved watching Ninja on Twitch over the years and are proud of all that he’s accomplished for himself and his family and the gaming community,” Amazon said in a statement, according to BBC.
Ninja’s switch will also give a chance for other Twitch streamers to up their subscriber base and popularity. According to Twitch, current subscribers to Ninja’s channel will get a one-month subscription to any other streamer of their choice. The streaming platform also said that Ninja subscriptions of the current users won’t be renewed automatically.
Financial terms of the deal between Microsoft and Blevins have not been made public. It is speculated that the streamer would have gotten a pretty hefty pay offer from Mixer to shift his loyalty. Blevins will not only stream exclusively on Mixer, but will also represent and promote Mixer at events.
Microsoft Mixer, earlier known as Beam, was acquired by Microsoft in 2016 and rebranded in 2017. The streaming platform is different from Twitch as it allows real-time viewer interaction, and last year, it also added the ability to purchase games directly from streamers. The platform also allows broadcasters to share their controllers with viewers and livestreamers also get the ability to co-stream with up to three friends.
Microsoft Mixer, lately, has seen some increase in popularity, such as the number of channels has increased by 37% since last quarter to a total of 1.97 million. Also, watch time and broadcast length have improved.
Despite improvement, Mixer has been unable to reach the popularity commanded by Twitch and YouTube Gaming. As per the data from Streamlabs, about 119.1 million hours of streams was viewed on Mixer between April and June, compared to more than 2.7 billion hours on Twitch. Microsoft’s platform has about 69,000 streamers compared to over 1.5 million on Twitch.
This disparity could change with Twitch’s popular streamer joining Mixer. Microsoft, in a statement said that they are “thrilled” to get Blevins on the team.
“Mixer is a place that was formed around being positive and welcoming from day one, and we look forward to the energy Ninja and his community will bring,” Microsoft said.
Ninja is known to have a dedicated fan base, who will likely subscribe to Mixer to follow their favorite streamer. Over 100,000 users have already subscribed to Ninja’s Mixer channel. The streamer is offering free subscriptions in August, giving subscribers 22 Ninja-themed emoticons along with an ad-free experience.
Similar to Twitch, Ninja will stream on Mixer daily from 9:30 a.m. CST to 6 p.m. CST. Ninja’s first Mixer stream will be a Friday Fortnite stream from the Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago on August 2. Blevins will team up with Kyle ‘Bugha’ Giersdorf, the 16-year-old boy who recently won the Fortnite World Cup. Ninja’s first Mixer stream will go live at 12 p.m. CST or 1:00 p.m. EDT. Unlike Twitch, fans won’t be able to clip highlight moments of the stream. Ninja, however, can choose when to create a highlight.
Ninja is undoubtedly one of the biggest gaming celebrities. He has appeared on the cover of ESPN’s magazine as well as featured on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Speaking on CNBC’s “Squawk Alley” a few months back, Blevins revealed that he earns more than $500,000 per month just from playing and streaming Fortnite on Twitch.
Separately, a report from CNN earlier this year claimed that the streamer made about $10 million last year. His earnings are made up of ad views, profits from bits, donations and monthly subscriptions. Ninja’s other sources of revenue are endorsement deals and tournament wins.
The streamer told CNN that he thinks of himself as an entrepreneur, and compared his streams to a coffee. “They’re gonna find another coffee shop if you’re not there … you have to be there all the time,” he told CNN. At the time, the streamer said that he streams for about 12 hours a day or about 4,000 hours a year.