The sudden shutdown of Mixer left many gamers wondering what would happen to some of the platform’s biggest stars, Tyler “Ninja” Blevins among them.
Of course, all of the big names were released from their contracts as we reported but the speculation was more about where these streamers would go. Back to Twitch? As anyone who has followed his career can tell you, that might be an awkward move for him. After all, they parted on somewhat awkward terms.
Then again, the Facebook Gaming alternative wasn’t really viable – for multiple reasons.
Given such a narrow range of options, it only makes sense that Ninja decided to throw his hat in with YouTube. It’s a savvy move for multiple reasons and we’ll tell you why.
For one, YouTube is much, much more than gaming and, with an audience generator like Ninja joining its gaming arm, YouTube looks set to extend its reach even further.
Yet, no need to worry, YouTube hasn’t inked some kind of exclusivity deal with Ninja. He just chose them over the competition. That probably pays more free dividends to YouTube than we can imagine and the service seems to be more than happy to have him on board, even in an unofficial capacity.
Talia Yates, a rep from YouTube, said they welcome him on board.
Even before going live on the service, he had amassed 24 million followers.
Chief executive of the livestreaming services provider StreamElements Doron Nir said to the New York Times, “The power in the livestreaming gaming industry has gradually shifted from the platforms to the creators since they now have more options for where to build their brand.”
“While lucrative exclusivity deals are commonplace we expect to see the rise of transcendent creators. These are individuals who are able to be bigger than any one platform with the freedom to reach a much broader audience by leveraging all of them. Oprah, Ellen and Bill Simmons have all exemplified the benefit of not tethering themselves to a single platform, and Ninja can easily follow suit,” he continued.
Looking ahead, most analysts expect that Ninja and those like him will avoid exclusivity agreements and, instead, will likely use a multiplatform approach. For one, it might not be more lucrative to do that, but it is way more diversified.
And it isn’t just the streaming aspect of everything that makes creators money. As more and more Internet personalities break out into the mainstream, the more they become like other celebrities out there. Endorsements, sponsorships, and other business ventures are part and parcel with streaming success no matter what platform you use as a host. It will be interesting to see how companies like Twitch and YouTube monetize this moving forward.
As for Ninja, in particular, the move to Mixer was a smart career decision for one simple reason: He got to keep most of his contract money without having to fulfill it. Now he’s not only free to do as he pleases but also can weaponize that capital to help advance his other ventures.