Mixer was a streaming service for video
games that existed from 2016 to 2020. Young people are doing exciting things
every day, and a young duo brought the world a stellar live streaming
alternative to Amazon’s Twitch and Google’s YouTube.
Matt Salsamendi and James Boehm are the
two geniuses behind the Mixer platform. The two founded it at ages 17 and 19
years old, respectively. This innovation happened in January 2016, when the
service was introduced to the world under the name Beam. Interestingly, this
was the pair’s second venture as they had run a server hosting business named
McProHosting from 2012 to 2016.
Both young men were avid game lovers,
and they saw where Twitch and YouTube lacked in vital areas. At the time,
YouTube had no live chat, and Twitch didn’t have the best chat latency rate.
You see, the latter was a problem because it meant that real-time interaction
was not very fluid.
Boehm and Salsamendi saw their
opportunity and decided to improve upon the established formula. Not only did
Beam eliminate the latency issue that plagued Twitch, but it had numerous
features to promote interaction and community building. The idea was for people
to chat, help their favorite streamers, and to discover other content creators
consistently. Beam used the Faster than Light (FTL) protocol to provide a
service with less than a second of latency.
In May 2016, the two gentlemen
demonstrated Beam in the Startup Battlefield Competition. The idea behind the
contest was to provide funding to whichever project was deemed the most
innovative. Beam got the victory, and it’s co-founders received an equity-free
$50,000, which they could then use to take the platform to new heights.
The Emergence of Mixer
In August 2016, Microsoft acquired Beam
from the two. The deal saw Microsoft hire Boehm and Salsamendi to lead the Beam
team in Redmond. In 2017, the service was rebranded under the name Mixer, and
it became a part of the Xbox division. Even then, the two co-founders remained
at the helm of the development.
Mixer’s capabilities expanded greatly
and went on to include more interactive features for viewers, such as voting,
changing the course of gameplay, special effects, etc. Since it was a Microsoft
service at this point, there was an SDK available, which allowed developers to
integrate features into various games for these features to work smoothly.
2018 and 2019 included a host of updates
and improvements, which would explain the way the user base began to climb. In
2019, Ninja, who is one of the biggest names in the streaming world, signed a
deal to stream exclusively on Mixer. As you’d expect, Ninja’s move from Twitch influenced
a host of new people to start using the service.
It only took Ninja four days to get to a
million subscribers. Mixer continued to be a titan of streaming services until
Microsoft announced that it would retire the platform. The announcement came in
June, and the shutdown was finalized in July.
However, monetized channels could
continue their operations under the banner of Facebook Gaming. This platform is
the social media giant’s take on a streaming service offering.