• Microsoft bought Beam in 2017 and rebranded it as Mixer
  • To compete in the streaming business dominated by Twitch and YouTube
  • Expects to work with different partners, platforms, and communities 

Microsoft said it will shutter its Mixer streaming service effective July 22 and offer its partners a switch to Facebook Gaming.

All of Mixer’s sites and apps will redirect to the Facebook Gaming platform when Mixer shuts down completely. The surprise move underlines the challenges in the streaming business dominated by Amazon’s Twitch and YouTube.

A year ago, Mixer seemed a brave challenger when gamer "Ninja" announced his move from Twitch to Mixer. The deal was considered to be a major coup for Mixer, as Ninja had been among Twitch's top personalities, with over 14 million followers. In October, streamer Shroud also entered into an exclusivity agreement with Mixer, followed by KingGothalion.

The stars didn't ensure viability though. Microsoft had to shutter Mixer because it was unable to scale up in comparison with the Twitch or YouTube. Facebook Gaming has more than 700 million people who use the service to play games, watch videos, or interact with others in some way monthly, Digital Trends reported. Mixer creators may have found a good deal.

"Ninja", however, isn’t so sure he’ll make the move to Facebook Gaming. He tweeted that he has “some decisions to make” about Facebook Gaming and will be thinking about his community of users before he does. Since joining Mixer last year, Ninja has attracted more than 67 million views.

Co-founded by Matthew Salsamendi and James Boehm in January 2016 as Beam, the service was acquired by Microsoft in August and renamed Mixer in 2017. It was later integrated into Microsoft’s Xbox division. The founders Mixer founders Boehm and Salsamendi both left Microsoft in October 2019.

The agreement with Facebook is “a key part of a broader effort that Xbox and Facebook Gaming are embarking on, bringing new experiences and opportunities to Facebook,” Microsoft said. Facebook might not be the lone partnership that Microsoft enters into in the near future.

As Microsoft launches the Xbox Series X and Project xCloud game-streaming service, the company announced in a blog post that it plans to work with different partners, platforms, and communities.

Still, Microsoft said it will utilize some of its underlying low-latency video streaming services, real-time interactivity, and other technology in its software for Microsoft Teams. The company said the features will ultimately create a better Teams product for companies and individuals.

Microsoft Mixer
Microsoft's Twitch competitor has been rebranded to Mixer, and now includes Co-Streaming capabilities. Microsoft