Microsoft’s Mixer follows Twitch with addition of direct tipping and game sales

Mixer, Microsoft’s answer to Twitch, will soon allow its streamers to start selling games and other downloadable content via its service, and will introduce tipping, the company announced this week in its year-end wrap-up. The game sales will be made possible through the new Mixer Direct Purchase program, which is now in testing ahead of a broad, public launch, Microsoft says.

Initially, the program will support all the games in Microsoft’s digital store, including 5,000 games across Xbox and Windows 10. In the future, it will expand to include other content, as well.

Gamers will earn a percentage of the purchases they made through their stream, but Microsoft didn’t disclose what that percentage will be.

The move is meant to give gamers the ability to further monetize their channels on Mixer, which today falls far behind Twitch and YouTube Gaming in terms of monthly active streamers, concurrent streamers and viewers. Gamers on Mixer simply don’t have the potential for the sizable audience that they do elsewhere, which is why more monetization tools are needed.

Twitch, which is owned by Amazon, has offered streamers a way to sell games on its site since early 2017, and later rolled out a way for them to market gaming gear, too, through an Amazon Affiliate-like channel extension, “Gear on Amazon.”

Mixer’s other big news is the introduction of a direct tipping feature. Microsoft says that streamers can continue to use external tipping services if they choose, but soon, Mixer will add a way for fans to tip directly in Mixer itself, without having to leave the platform. Tipping is also a standard way that livestreaming services help streamers make money – tipping is supported across a variety of sites today, including Twitch, YouTube and even Twitter’s Periscope.

Mixer also said the ability to subscribe to specific channels will soon be added to the Mixer Xbox app, similar to how this feature works on web and mobile.

The post detailed other changes and developments to Mixer’s platform that took place over 2017, including the launch of the Mixer Create app for streamers; a new Mixer app for viewing; plus expanded language support; and the recent introduction of a new, dedicated channel for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, HypeZone PUBG Channel.

Microsoft also revealed a Mixer milestone, noting that 2017 was the year where Mixer exceeded 10 million active users for the first time.