Moving To Mixer Cost Shroud Two-Thirds Of His Audience

Moving To Mixer Cost Shroud Two-Thirds Of His Audience

Accept exclusivity at your peril. The battle between Twitch and Mixer has resulted in some high profile streamers abandoning their traditional homes for lucrative deals, but new figures have shown the effect the switch can have.

Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek was one of the biggest stars on Twitch, favoured for his brand of highly skilled, highly chilled gameplay in competitive shooters like Apex Legends, PUBG and others. When he announced his departure to Mixer, the former CS:GO professional had over seven million followers on Twitch and a high of 15 million hours viewed (the month Apex Legends launched).

Twitch Star Shroud Moves To Mixer

While it’s possible to split hairs all day over which metrics definitively determine whether someone is the top streamer on Twitch, there’s no denying that Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek is one of the platform’s biggest stars. Or, he was. Now he’s moving to Mixer.

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But that move has come at a price. Before Shroud’s transition to the Microsoft streaming service, the Canadian had a unique US livestream audience of 718,000 unique viewers. According to Streammetrics, that figure collapsed in November to 231,000 unique viewers in November. More staggeringly, only 15 percent of viewers followed Shroud from Twitch to Mixer.

Image: Streammetrics

Image: Streammetrics

It’s a fair drop given Shroud’s viewership in the US, which is a huge deal for brands and advertisers that want to work with Shroud, and part of the reason why Shroud was able to command what’s believed to be a sizeable appearance fee for promoting Apex Legends (but not as much as the $US1 million Ninja received).

That said, Shroud’s appeal is having a good impact on the streaming platform. 127,000 viewers in the US watched Mixer as a result of Shroud’s stream, StreamMetrics reports, and almost half of those who watched Shroud on Mixer throughout November came from those who’d watched the streamer on Twitch just a month prior.

It’s worth reiterating that all of these views are US exclusive, and StreamMetrics didn’t provide any comparisons on the impact of Shroud’s non-US followers or views. At the time of writing, Shroud has just over 878,000 followers on Mixer: notably less than his highs on Twitch, but a fairly decent result considering the following has only been building for just over a month, and competition on Mixer isn’t as frantic as that on Twitch. The exclusivity deal will also give Shroud an advantage in the longer term particularly around major Xbox-related games and exclusives next year, since Microsoft went to the expense of poaching him to begin with.

It’s a good insight into the cost and effect of switching platforms, a decision more and more streamers are weighing up. Twitch and Mixer streamers, however, will likely take their lessons from similar wars fought in China where the streaming platforms there relied on talent development programs to replace major stars who left. Chinese stars who switched from one major platform to another found their popularity wane, with smaller streamers taking the place and prominence of those who left.

“Because of Douyu’s talent development programs, if top streamers got poached, the top streamers suffered in popularity, not Douyu … tier 2 talented streamers rose and assumed place of top streamers who left,” Jeff “SuiJeneris” Chau, a commentator, analyst and former general manager of Immortals, told Abacus.

Popular Streamer Shroud 'Interviews' An Apex Legends Cheater

Yesterday evening, while playing Apex Legends, Twitch star Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek got killed by a player who was using an aimbot to cheat. When you spend the majority of your waking hours playing video games, it’s not abnormal to encounter cheaters and stream snipers. This one, though, agreed to stick around and chat with Shroud.

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  • Because of Douyu’s talent development programs, if top streamers got poached, the top streamers suffered in popularity, not Douyu … tier 2 talented streamers rose and assumed place of top streamers who left,
    Crediting the notion of “people can’t watch person A who is no longer on the platform they use/prefer, but person B remains to fill the void” to ‘talent development programs’ is an absolute laugh. Does that guy have shares in Douyu or something?

    If people want to watch someone play a particular game but don’t want to leave the platform of their choice then it’s inevitable a new Ninja, Shroud, etc, will surface… And that empty, soul sucking void will fill itself with or without action from the platform.

    On an unrelated note, I’m going to start taking credit for the Earth orbiting the Sun… I feel that miss attributing credit for things is something I can really get behind, especially if it lets me put ‘analyst’ down as a job title.

      • It’s one of those things isn’t it? We could never really know.

        Because there’s no way of knowing for certain that they were doing it, short of inside access to their systems or you being the one that is doing it for them.

        “But what does Bob actually do in that office all day?”
        “Janitor stuff.”

      • I thought that was something that they were known to be doing? I’ve seen a few articles (even here on Kotaku) that talk about twitch streams being embedded onto wiki articles or similar that would count as viewers of that wiki to the streamers active viewership

  • I wonder how Microsoft sees it. They poached him (and others) because of his audience and appeal hoping that him moving would bring in his entire audience. They would have accounted for some losses but I’m guessing that a few execs are looking at this and frowning about the lack of new viewers.

    For anyone thinking of switching, the important thing you’d have to keep in mind is that although you get a nice up front payment, the loss of continued payment from your viewers may end up outweighing it in the long run. It’s going to be interesting to see how this strategy works out for Mixer only streamers in the new year. My guess is we’ll see a lot of streamers double dip and just restream across all platforms for a broader audience.

    • If their contract even allows it. Lots of Twitch Streamers started running into issues with Twitch when they experimented with streaming on Youtube a year or three back – I can’t see this being much different.

  • What the article doesn’t say is that 90% of those views were just people accidentally landing on the Mixer tab on their XBones *cough*

    • Nothing like having full control over the device you purchase and what it does, am I right?

      Shit drives me nuts anytime I have to deal with the Xbox dashboard.

      There’s a reason I go digging in settings whenever I update or reinstall Windows… And it’s definitely not to make sure all Microsoft’s pointless shit is turned on and phoning home.

  • Goes to show that the platform is stronger than the streamer.

    Twitch as a brand is THE place people think of when it comes to video game streaming; much like when you think Chicken, you think KFC or Hamburgers/McDonalds, Wrestling/WWE, etc. Once a brand dominates and ingrains itself as the main thing people associate with the product, it’s hard to get people to change to something new, no matter what the other brand may have. It’s basic psychology of association.

    • It happens tho. Anyone still use MySpace or Livejournal despite them having been big in the previous decade?

      Even voice clients like TeamSpeak have gone the way of the dodo as new clients like Discord showed up. I was at a convention. That was doing all their announcements through Telegram, and just thought that was so 2017.

      • Discord taking over genuinely pisses me off, because it’s such a massively bloated piece of software. One that at times has made online games pretty unplayable for me whenever it has even simply been OPEN yet not actively being used to chat.

        Multiple systems, multiple internet connections and Discord has been a consistent cause of massive latency issues… It’s not even updates or anything, there was a time for a good few months where my housemate or I simply couldn’t have it running anytime we were playing online games. Soon as we shut it down, not a problem.

        I’ve seen spyware that was less suspicious.

        • Wow. I had honestly never heard of that, so I’ll have to keep an eye out for it. I have that issue with Chrome to be honest, with it leaking away all my memory that games have trouble opening much less running. I close Chrome and then it all just flies perfect.

  • Now that’s gotta be an unpleasant reality check: learning your ‘fans’ weren’t really there for you specifically… you just happened to be near enough to where they already were that they cast a look over your way.

    I don’t really have any interest in professional streaming, but I definitely have sympathy for what’s probably just happened to that human being’s ego.

  • I can say with 100% certainty that Shroud’s buyout contract paid him his expected earnings for 3 years+ had he stayed on Twitch. What this means is that he will have his new income from streaming with a different company alongside his expected income had he stayed with Twitch. This allows him breathing room and flexibility to play differently and do different things with minimal risk (because he has guaranteed income). People acting like Shroud and Toast ruined their lives by making this decision have zero business sense or understanding of how these deals work. If you genuinely think a man like DisguisedToast would make a career choice that would financially cripple him 4thelols then… there is no hope for you

  • I literally could not care less, they already have enough money to retire today and live the rest of their lives in incredible comfort. I don’t understand the appeal of watching a streamer and probably never will (I’m only mid-20’s too, damn things move fast) but when I think streaming I think Twitch, it’s easy to understand people not following them to a new service purely from a convenience standpoint alone. You really want to be able to stick to one place.

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