Dr Disrespect will never move to Mixer
Following the exodus of multiple popular streamers from Twitch to Mixer, many viewers are curious or even scared about their favorite broadcaster making the same deal. One streamer in particular, known far and wide for being very outspoken and brutally honest, Herschel “Dr Disrespect” Beahm IV, is a current target of these questions. During a recent stream, following the departure of Ninja, Shroud and now King Gothalion, viewers asked Beahm whether he would make the same move.
The popular streamer made the same observations about Mixer that pretty much anyone paying attention had, simply that they need exponential growth before they begin to see any real return in terms of organic streamers and viewers on the platform. During a recent stream, he said, “maybe a total of 40,000 to 50,000 concurrent viewers across the entire platform,” adding that Twitch has 1.5 million concurrent viewers during that same time. It’s the reality of what Mixer and its parent Microsoft are running into, you can’t buy engagement, not really. Dr Disrepsect hits the nail right on the head, in his characteristic cantankerous style, saying “You can’t pay for a community, you can’t buy viewership.”
Anyone who has ever tried to grow a brand knows that paying for views is not viable, even in the short term. A strategy of throwing money at the problem very rarely works. Growing an online brand isn’t like politics where bribes and corruption are your friend. In the days of the internet, you still need lightning in a bottle to capture a core fanbase. Sure, paid promotion can certainly aid efforts to grow content, but the content still has to hold eyeballs with interesting elements to last past that initial buy-in.
It’s possible that Mixer could reach this point, but the more likely outcome is that within the next couple of years, Microsoft investors will start to balk at the idea of sinking more money into the project without seeing a major return. It’s doubtful that Mixer will ever be profitable at this current rate. Some Twitch users are disgruntled by various choices though, like the deprecation of certain features and an increase in advertising, and if Mixer keys into that to poach users, it may be a golden opportunity, but it won’t be anywhere near enough on its own to make a profit.
Amazon still has a fair ways to go to recoup their investment into Twitch, and it’s very likely that Microsoft will have to sink considerable resources into the project before it sees the explosive growth they no doubt want. The livestreaming video platform, was purchased by Amazon for $970 million back in September 2014. I sincerely doubt that Microsoft will be willing to put that much equity into their pet streaming service, mainly for fear that they get trapped in the sunk costs fallacy.
One of the bigger problems with Mixer in these early days though is that the much smaller pool of viewers means that breakout streamers are fighting a much harder fight for fewer viewers. The dilution of viewers and donations on Mixer means that it’s hitting a wall in terms of saturation of users, meaning that new streamers won’t be coming over for fear of not making enough cash. This alone could be the death knell for the company.
And it’s easy to see why fans would be concerned about their favorite personality jumping ship. The message it sends about the long-term viability of the platform and profession can be chilling. A lot of people don’t want to see the broadcasters they enjoy struggle, mostly because they lose a source of entertainment. And although many fans love Dr Disrespect’s in-your-face style, it has no doubt gotten him into trouble. The streamer landed in hot water and earned a ban from the platform over violating California law when filming inside bathrooms during E3 2019. Twitch itself also landed in some pretty big controversy after Ninja left the platform, by accidentally using his old channel to promote pornographic content.
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