Ninja shocked the gaming world in 2019 when he announced he was moving his streams from Twitch to Microsoft’s Mixer service, signalling a change in the video games streaming landscape. Several other prominent streamers joined him, including King Gothalion and Shroud. Now, reports have emerged that this move came after Mixer paid Ninja $US20-30 million ($30-44 million) a year to join the platform.
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The figure, first reported on CNN, is believed to regard exclusivity to the streaming service in a multi-year deal. This information was shared with CNN via Justin Warden, the CEO of talent management agency Ader, which works with Ninja. According to CNN’s report, Ninja’s personal agency refused to confirm the figure when they reached out.
While the supposed $US20-30 million deal is not currently verified, it is a staggering price tag to pay, and shows how far Ninja’s star has risen. With appearances in Fortnite and his own range of merchandise, it’s clear that streaming has become big business. To date, this would likely be the largest sum that a streamer has been paid for exclusivity.
While Twitch is still largely dominating the streaming world, Mixer is making strides forward. Pricy deals have reportedly been offered to many prominent streamers in an effort to further Mixer’s hold on the streaming landscape.
Ninja announced his move to stream exclusively on Microsoft Mixer, leaving behind the site that helped create his nearly 15-million strong empire of Twitch followers. At first glance it seems strange that Microsoft would spend a rumoured $US50 million on a single streamer. But with two-thirds of the population playing video games in Australia and global gaming revenue reaching into the billions, the move might be the most influential acquisition Microsoft has made this generation.
With Mixer starting up in 2016 and mostly flying under the radar in the years since its launch, it needed something big to attract attention. Ninja’s move did just that, sparking a media furore when it was first announced. But with Ninja’s viewers dropping from 15 million to 2.8 million between the platforms, and Mixer’s total hours watched for Q3 2019 declining 10.6% (recorded after Ninja joined the platform), the value of the deal remains to be seen.
$US20-30 million is a steep price to pay, if indeed that was the agreed sum, and it’ll be intriguing to see if Mixer’s hefty investment pays off in the end.