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Mixer is a streaming platform similar to Twitch but has a few key differences. What would a mixer stream have to offer you?
There are many creators on Mixer, just as there are on Twitch. However, right now there is a larger console presence on Mixer over PC, which also means an opportunity to fill the demand.
Mixer as a Platform – What does it offer?
Many streamers on the opposing platform Twitch have never even heard about Mixer until a certain big streamer announced he was going to switch to it full time. Admittedly, our knowledge was lacking on the subject because there wasn’t a real strong reason to look into the details of the platform. (Most people were asking questions in regards to Twitch, not Mixer.)
As a result of our lack of understanding, we researched a fair amount of information on Mixer. This is all so we all have a better understanding of the platform as a whole.
We know you’re dying to know of the advantages, so Let’s start with those!
Mixer stream Feature – 10,000 Bitrate Cap
For those looking to stream 1080p60 Native, Rejoice! At a bitrate cap of 10,000, you will be able to stream 1080P60 @ 10,000, which will ensure a mostly compression artifact-free stream.
That said, for truly indiscernible compression-free 1080P60, a bitrate of 12,000 is the number to aim for. This little boost is what 1080P60 needs to become worthwhile in our eyes.
So what about 1080P30?
Yup, all day, every day. But, we feel those extra 30 frames per second is worth more than the resolution setting. (Unless the content you are streaming is also 30fps.) In that case, you want to match the output fps to the content you are streaming for the best results.
It is for this reason that we propose those who wish to squeeze every bit of quality out of their bitrate to instead stream at 900p60 @8,000. As the standard of 720p60 on Twitch, it is in a nice happy ground for quality. This is especially true if you have transcoding available to you.
That said, we strongly discourage setting your bitrate so high.
What? You said the cap was…Wait, you’re saying don’t set my bitrate to 8000?
Yup, we did, and there is a good reason for that. There are significant drawbacks to high bitrate streaming. The main drawback is that your internet upload speed needs to be fast enough to support a high bitrate like 8,000 to 10,000.
Read our guide on “Do you have the internet speed to streaming twitch?” to learn more about this limitation.
The Drawbacks of streaming high bitrate – Transcoding is exclusive to Mixer Partners.
Unless you are a Mixer Partner, chances of getting Transcoding is extremely slim. This is important when considering your switch; however, they do have an application process you can fill out if you are already a strong influencer.
If you don’t know what transcoding is, the article linked above about internet speed covers that in a fair amount of detail.
Sparks – What they are and what they do
Sparks are the platform’s spendable currency to do special actions or interactions with the streamer. For example, you could have a panel of interactive buttons cost sparks on use. (More on that feature in just a bit)
Sparks themselves hold no monetary value and are awarded on a watch time basis at a rate of 50 sparks per minute. They are similar in nature to a cryptocurrency in that regard (If you are familiar with those.) Unlike a Cryptocurrency, they have no limit to how much can be generated.
If you were to sub to a channel, the rate at which you gain sparks is doubled to 100 per minute. Alternatively, if the channel you are watching is a “Pro” Everybody who watches gets double sparks, among other cool bonuses.
Mixer Pro – Pay to get more out of your Mixer stream
Mixer Pro has a number of cool features if you are willing to swallow the price of $7.99 per month. This can also be gifted to you or your favorite streamer if you wanted to support in a different way than just subbing.
As a Mixer Pro, you will never see an ad again, (Not that they are very common yet.) gain two times level experience, (By the way, you can level up and show how long you have supported this streamer. This makes it twice as fast.) gain early access to new features, and have a premium chat highlight.
In our opinion, these features are not worth the cost to us, but if one of your viewers gift it to you, no reason not to use it. The main selling point is the “no ads” bit, but ads aren’t really an issue right now.
Embers – The “Bits” of Mixer
This feature was once exclusive for Mixer Partners, but in a recent announcement, all streamers will be able to be supported by both Embers + Subscription plans. Embers are the platform’s equivalent of bits on Twitch. You buy them with real money, and donate them to your favorite Mixer Partner.
Each Ember is worth exactly one penny, or one cent. If you buy 120 embers, and donate them all to one streamer they are worth $1.20 to them. As you pay $1.99 for 120 embers, that’s the cut that Mixer takes.
We’ve heard rumors about Sparks being used increasing the value of each Ember, but we have not seen or heard any confirmation on this.
Mixer stream Feature – Interactive button commands
One of the coolest features of the Mixer Platform are these little button commands that you can set to redeem sparks.
You can set these buttons to play a sound, Show a video w/ sound, do some text overlays, and much, much more. Just remember to ensure a high degree of contrast between the text and background elements to ensure your audience can clearly read what it is they are redeeming. We’ve seen far too many buttons where we could not read anything on the button.
The Drawbacks of Interactive buttons
Even with interactive buttons being one of the coolest features we’ve seen on a platform, they are not without their drawbacks. First and foremost, you will likely be reading more than a few articles on the subject, as the things you can do with them are not fully explored.
Touching on that advanced subject, they aren’t exactly super intuitive to set up, so you may find yourself overwhelmed in the transitional phase to Mixer if you try to set everything up all at once. Take it in stride.
Mixer Stream feature – MixPlay
MixPlay is a feature where spectators can directly interact with a game in some special way. For example, on their Season 2 Announcement page, they show a streamer crossing a patch of grass, when one the viewers decide to engage a sort of parkour command, which then forces the streamer to jump through the maze or fall to his doom on stream.
Audience interaction is at the forefront of Mixer’s philosophy, and it doesn’t stop there.
Hype alert! All aboard the HypeZone
Games can get exceptionally competitive for some, even to the point of meme-worthy outbursts of violent keyboard bashing, unholy screeches of fury when they lose. With the Hypezone, they slot Mixer streams into the hype zone, for all your new viewers to see your outburst, and record it for the next viral meme…Maybe…
For new, and small streamers, the Hypezone has great potential for them to gain some exposure. It’s a free form of advertisement, based on how intense the game is at that time. The exact details on HypeZone visibility are vague, so don’t rely on JUST the hype zone. What comes of your stream, comes.
Next, up, we have (up to) 4 Player Co-op Streams & FTL Technology
Fun fact, we can actually exceed the speed of light (But only when comparing in a vacuum to in a medium). But now, Mixer has claimed that they too, can achieve this FTL speeds, right here on the internet!
Well…No, they can’t. That’s just fancy marketing using a highly searched keyphrase on the large search engines.
So, remember that next time you look at an oddly named product or service. All marketing, and methods to influence interests…We jest. FTL is an ultra-low latency mode that puts you in near-realtime interaction with your audience.
Some extra steps need to be taken to achieve this to its full effect, noted here:
“x264 options: b-frames=0 is important to all Mixer streams that are using FTL. FTL does not like/accept b-frames. “Aramyth – Read the full post on reddit
As for Co-op, yeah, They basically set up an official multi-stream with a linked chat. Some extra integrations, but for the most part, you are just hosting 4 separate streams of the same game from different perspectives under a single, so that you can point out who failed to do what and when and get a good laugh.
The final word – A Mixer stream is all about audience interaction.
With a strong focus on engaging your audience as much as possible within your stream, the platform poises itself to get as close to realtime interaction as possible.
If Interaction is what you are searching for, then we strongly recommend choosing it as your streaming platform of choice.
But don’t forget to look into what unique opportunities that Twitch offers you.
At the end of the day, platforms are simply a point of engagement, and should not be your primary focus for pulling in interested parties. If you want growth, you need to be tapping into an influencer mindset and gathering from as many sources as you can.