E-Sports by Conrad Hoyt August 16, 2019
Tyler “Ninja” Blevins is one of the biggest names in the gaming industry. Along with other popular streamers, Ninja would stream live on Twitch, a streaming video platform owned by Twitch Interactive, a subsidiary of Amazon.
That was up until recently. Now Ninja has partnered with Mixer, another video game streaming platform, albeit much smaller. Ninja will stream exclusively on Mixer from here on out, and surely get a larger bag because of it.
While Twitch has the numbers and followers right now, Mixer ensures Ninja will receive a bigger share of his earnings; a bigger slice of the pie. And with his hard work in gaming and marketing himself over the years, he deserves more freedom. This pairing has the potential to be a home-run for both parties involved.
While Mixer does not have the clout and following that Twitch has, Ninja is a big enough name to get fans to make the switch. In fact, after just five days of streaming, Ninja already has 1 million active subscribers on Mixer.
Although the stats on @Ninja Mixer channel are amazing right now, thats not what we planned to focus on with the transition. We are stoked about it, but even if Ty had 5k viewers, we were ready and confident with this move. Aligns with what we believe in & wanted for the brand <3
— Jessica Blevins (@JessicaBlevins) August 8, 2019
Mixer decided to gift two months of free subscription before the price will jump to at least $5.99 a month. The company’s plan is sure to attract as many followers as fast as possible, and then solidify themselves as a direct competitor of Twitch going forward.
Getting Ninja on board is huge for the company, but there are those who believe one name is not enough. If other big streamer-names are not added to Mixer’s list, and fans have to start paying monthly fees to watch, it may just be easier for them to stick with Twitch. Twitch is free with an Amazon Prime membership, but users can pay to receive more content and be free of ads.
There seems to be no love lost between Ninja and Twitch. Twitch, like Amazon, is a monopoly in its industry, and most likely did not expect one of their most popular streamers to switch platforms. Small slights have been made since Ninja’s move.
Disgusted and so sorry. pic.twitter.com/gnUY5Kp52E
— Ninja (@Ninja) August 11, 2019
Ninja has been a popular streamer for years. Starting with Halo 3, Ninja played professionally and started to gain a following from there. He then started streaming on PUBG, an online multiplayer battle royale game. But it wasn’t until the meteoric rise of Fortnite, that Ninja really cemented himself as one of the most popular streamers and entertainers in the country.
Ninja has an extreme talent at his craft. He is an absurdly-gifted player and knows how to make a stream entertaining by responding to fans’ questions, concerns, and jokes. Another wise tactic used by Ninja was streaming playing Fortnite with celebrities outside of the gaming world.
A little over a year ago, Ninja streamed games with him playing with Drake and Travis Scott. Big names in the music industry undoubtedly bolstered Ninja’s profile, and I for one first heard about the popular streamer because of this.
In addition to popular artists, Ninja played with NFL star JuJu Smith-Schuster and English Premier League Stars Harry Kane and Dele Alli. A lot of people love Fortnite.
Besides it being a ton of fun, playing with celebrities helped widen Ninja’s brand. And playing with soccer stars in England helped Ninja gain fans internationally.
Ninja has also worked to create a clean image of himself. Like other popular streamers, Ninja used to curse and use profanity in his streaming and videos. But in order to appeal to a wider, younger audience, Ninja understood he had to dial it back a little. This helped lead to him gaining 22 million subscribers on YouTube, and now his newest venture: switching over to Mixer.
Ninja understands his brand is now bigger than himself. It is about more than just him, and subsequently, more than the platform he streams on.
Twitch may be upset their most popular streamer has left them, and fans may be upset they will soon have to pay to watch him, but this was a move geared towards Ninja becoming the streamer he always wanted to be. Young kids can look up to Ninja for taking control of his career.
Mixer is in a big spot here: either the company skyrockets after a superstar joined its platform, or it crumbles under the pressure. Attracting a few more star names would certainly help the company achieve the former.
After the superstar in Ninja made the switch, all eyes are on other streamers to see if they will follow suit.