Ninja reveals why he almost quit streaming for good after Mixer move - Dexerto
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Ninja reveals why he almost quit streaming for good after Mixer move

Published: 31/Jul/2020 21:45 Updated: 1/Aug/2020 11:18

by Theo Salaun

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Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins is well-known, to put it lightly, but his streaming plans are not. In an interview on July 31, the gaming superstar and his wife, Jessica, revealed that quitting entirely was a consideration at the peak of his frustration with Mixer.

On Twitch, Ninja’s biggest stream ever, a Fortnite quad with Drake, Travis Scott, and the NFL’s JuJu Smith-Schuster, reached 4.4 million people and, at its peak, hit 616,693 concurrent viewers.

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On Mixer, his biggest stream ever reached 2.2 million viewers and hit a 85,876 concurrent viewership high point. He may have known the dip was coming, but that doesn’t change how it felt. “It was expected…and frustrating,” he said.

Ninja moved from Twitch to Mixer in 2019 and is now a free agent as Microsoft’s streaming platform surprisingly shut down in June 2020. Although Mixer experienced a 149 percent increase in total hours watched from 2018 to 2019, impressive relative to Twitch’s 20 percent increase, that improvement still couldn’t break the streaming scene open.

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While the jump, bolstered by Ninja and shroud signing exclusivity deals, netted Mixer 354 million total hours watched in 2019, Twitch still reigned supreme at 9.3 billion. With such a stark contrast in audience, Jessica revealed that she reminded her husband that he could stop streaming entirely if he wanted. “We can stop this life,” she said.

Ninja Mixer
Twitter: Ninja
Ninja announced his move to Mixer with a hyped faux press conference.

Although certainly frustrated, he didn’t relent. Citing belief in the platform and a desire for it to succeed, he remained dedicated to his stream and appears to have grown from the somewhat humbling experience.  

Speculations over his next deal are aided in part by the context of deliberations over his Mixer switch. While many believed that the contract money, which has since been revealed to be about $30 million, was the defining factor—Ninja’s camp is adamant that it was only part of the equation. 

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In the interview, he explained that Twitch had made “a very nice offer” as well, but that Mixer was more intriguing given its capacity for higher-quality video and flexibility in non-gaming pursuits. Additionally, his wife explained that part of his decision to leave Twitch was spurred by plateaued growth on the platform and a failure to “listen to us” amidst negotiations.

Now, he asserts that he is “a lot more comfortable and relaxed” because his brand survived the frustrations of a viewership downturn and, more recently, the absence of streaming at all. As for his next deal, a YouTube stream spurred some rumors, but the gaming icon has remained noncommittal. 

What’s clear, though, is that he wants a deal with technological streaming capacity, but balanced by the flexibility to pursue non-streaming content and partnerships, including in Hollywood.

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Twitch staff accused of tricking streamer into promoting brands

Published: 7/Oct/2020 21:28 Updated: 7/Oct/2020 21:34

by Alan Bernal

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Twitch streamers are speaking out against the broadcasting platform for attempting to promote brands within individual chats. Content creators are slamming the practice, especially since they have no control of removing the adverts from their channel.

One longtime YouTuber and Twitch streamer who goes by ‘The Black Hokage’ noticed a staffer had dropped a message in his Chat. The purpose of the text, sent by ‘newcryka,’ was to have the streamer acknowledge the listed brand with 400 Bits attached to the post.

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He immediately took issue with the move: “Yo, are you promoting something?… You got a Twitch staff symbol next to your name, are you promoting sh*t in my Chat?”

After posting the interaction on Twitter, more streamers slammed the apparent unsolicited advertisement from the streaming platform.

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“Creators beware! Twitch staff is now going around donating spare change in an attempt to trick you into shouting out brands without proper compensation. Don’t fall for it,” The Black Hokage said.

Twitch partner and viral streamer ‘negaoryx’ responded: “Which is great, because we can’t moderate anything said by Twitch staff in chat, so we can’t even purge it… great…”

There is a function that lets people ‘/Clear’ their channels messaging log, which lets “broadcasters and chat moderators to completely wipe the previous chat history.” This feature doesn’t apply to messages from Twitch staff accounts.

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However the means, content creators and the wider Twitch community got an indication that the streaming platform could experience more intrusive marketing campaigns.

Some believe that The Black Hokage’s clip could have been a Twitch advertisement staff member testing out a new form of social engagement tactics meant for branding – and the thought isn’t unfounded.

In early August, an outside company released how its latest marketing scheme made use of Twitch’s donation alerts to get a branded sound bite played on a streamer’s channel. Their video showed multiple instances of a Twitch account surprising streamers by donating $5 to get a brand’s name and current offerings played on their page.

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The idea was immediately chastised for its way of engaging in promotion and sponsorship for a company without consulting or locking a paid deal with the individual streamer. However, despite inevitable backlash, advertisers are still trying out new methods of outreach.

The Amazon-owned streaming site has been incorporating more ways to engage audiences with branding promotions and advertisements.

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Twitch
Amazon solutions for ads have directly integrated Twitch channels and streamers in the past.

“Twitch video and display media, as well as new Twitch audiences, are now available for inclusion in Amazon Advertising campaigns, and Amazon audiences are available for inclusion in Twitch campaigns,” Amazon wrote. “We’re delighted to share that we are combining Twitch’s hard-to-reach and highly engaged audiences with Amazon Advertising’s integrated full-funnel advertising offering.

Days after Amazon announced it had added Twitch to its Amazon Advertising portfolio, the streaming site announced it was testing out mid-roll ads for channels. This too was vehemently criticized by everyone from Twitch streamers to viewers, and the idea was later abandoned.

Twitch
Twitch has been experimenting with new ad campaigns that have drawn ire from viewers and streamers.

A feature that hasn’t gone back to the drawing board has been the picture-in-picture mode for ads that minimizes and mutes the main stream while playing a fullscreened promotion. This too was received with angst from viewers.

Twitch’s latest attempt at finding a more engaging way to introduce ads to its reported 17.5 million daily users has, again, created ire from its partnered content creators.

As Amazon and Twitch continue to create advertising solutions for its highly-valuable and impressionable audiences, the platform’s streamers will be on the lookout for more marketing tactics that look to benefit off of their communities.