Game Theory: The Ninja Mixer MISTAKE! (The Ninja Mixer Deal Part 2)

Game Theory: The Ninja Mixer MISTAKE! (The Ninja Mixer Deal Part 2)


[Audience sounds] Calm down! Calm down! I see we got a little bit more time for questions. So uhhh… You! Girl! Uh- yeah. I was wondering if uh- You know what? Stop, sorry. I can’t be seen talking to you The internet might get the wrong idea about our relationship So instead, let me talk to um… You! Unattractive adult human male. Why are we still doing this? I mean, weren’t you supposed to telling us about why the Ninja Mixer decision was a mistake? Look, I’m getting to it, alright? But first. In honor of this new and exciting, exclusive streaming partnership with Blender, I am pleased to also announce this special edition merch… the Ninja Blender. *Audience gasps* *clears throat* What do you want now, Cap Buzzkill? You realize that’s someone else’s product, right? Huh! Clearly, it’s not. As you can tell, right here on the front has my name: Ninja. That, that’s me. Yours truly. Top Fornite game streamer. Uh, what’s say you, dead meme guy? *flossing* Well, will it blend? Uh yeah. That’s kinda the point. Well then, you can cash me outside using it. How ’bout dah? *tries to get high five* aw *becomes sad* YO DRAKE! Thanks for coming to my press conference! What say you my homeboy? *speech synthesizer* Yo Ninja bro! You know Drizzy’s got your back You’re blowing my mind with this dank merch. But can we get back to the episode, hotline bling? Yeah. You know what? All right, let’s do that. Hey offstage guy! Press the big red announcement button! *Presses big red announcement button* Thanks. See you all later. *epic Intro Plays* Hello Internet! Welcome to GAME THEORY *this is not a game theory tho*! Still running to the mail every day hoping to find that elusive check from Mixer. hmm, nothing :'( Welp… if it hasn’t come at this point it ain’t coming anytime soon. Since after today’s episode Mixer is NEEEVEER gonna want to talk to me. Either because they’re so offended by what I have to say, ooooor because they see my point at how dumb they were to spend TENS OF MILLIONS to make this deal in the first place. See, last time I talked about all the good this deal provided. Ninja totally made the right move, cashed out when he was on the decline, and guaranteed a lifetime of stability in the unstable world of online video. Mixer.. ehh True to it’s name it’s a bit more of a mixed bag. Seeing some short-term successes, searchability is up, traffic is slightly higher.. But in an ideal world you don’t just strike a deal costing tens of millions of dollars with one of the biggest talent in the world for just one week of news stories. You do it for the cash. So let’s take a quick look at the number, shall we? Ninja, on his first 18 days on Mixer got himself 10 million views. Now on Youtube, you can buy cheap views using Youtube’s ad systems for about 2 or 3 cents a view. And that’s not any sort of any click farm sketchy blackhat views. These are views that are outright purchased via Youtube’s own advertising systems. So that’s about three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000) worth of viewership for the first half month of this partnership so far. Not too shabby. But since that first big push, things have started to level off with him getting twenty thousand (20,000) average concurrent viewers per stream now. that translates to about three hundred thousand (300,000) views per stream. Doing some quick back of the napkin math here. That’s 300,000 times roughly 260 streams per year, or 78 million views, times 3 cents. About two point three Million dollars worth of views at any given year. Definitely good! But it’s still far below what I assumed (and what I’ve heard through my contacts), that he’s actually getting paid. And still, that’s not the whole story. When it comes to gaming itself, our views are actually much less valuable than the views of, say, a channel that appeals to moms who are making most of the household purchases. Optimistically speaking, a view in gaming is like three tenths of a cent. Point zero zero three dollars ($0.003), my friends. So if you’re looking for the actual value of ten million views, you’re talking something more like thirty thousand dollars ($30,000). That is a really low number that rounds out the year for Mixer with two hundred and thirty four thousand dollars worth of value. If you’re paying someone eight figures to get you views, (well…) that’s still two figures short. But remember what I said last time. Most livestream platforms, like Twitch and Mixer, are earning most of their money off of you: your donations. Taking a cut of every subscription, ember, bit, byte, superchat, and sparkle that you give to your favorite streamer. So let’s look at what those numbers could look like for Mixer here. A subscription on Mixer is $6 Now normally, Mixer would take a split of that. But considering they just paid a solid eight figures for ninja’s exclusivity, chances are they’re taking his whole cut. At least for awhile as a means of making up that lost revenue. Subtracting out Amazon Prime subs, at the height of paid subscribers during his time on Twitch, Ninja had about fifty thousand (50,000). This was about the time that he had 4 million total followers. Now that’s him at his absolute height of power When he left Twitch, he was at twenty thousand, but we’re going to assume best case scenario here. Matching that 50,000 number on mixer, a relatively unknown platform with half the number of new followers is nigh on impossible. However, mixer is doing a free giveaway month to incentivize people to subscribe. And then hopefully forget about the fact that they’ve given them their credit card information and are on auto-pay. So let’s just say he gets all those Fifty thousand (50,000) people on over. That would be three hundred thousand (300,000) dollars per month going to Mixer That is the best, best, best, case scenario! It’s a great number to be sure, especially off of one guy, and it results in three point six million dollars total for the year headed Mixer’s way. Which is phenomenal, unless of course you paying tens of millions of dollars a year to keep that guy on your platform, which Mixer seems to be. What would normally be a huge payday is just your really expensive employee holding down a third of your platform. In short: Any way you slice it, the numbers just don’t add up in Mixer’s favor. No, the Ninja deal wasn’t just about pure revenue, it was a long term play. They’re not thinking about one year, they’re thinking about the next six! And that, is what we haven’t covered yet. Going back to when we started talking about Mixer, a video platform has two goals: 1. Build a creator and viewer community 2. Monetize it, with advertisers and fan contributions. When it comes to attracting advertisers, There’s a case to be made that a lot of the companies who weren’t thinking about adverting on Mixer. Suddenly are thinking about it now. But the controversies Twitch has been seeing recently and their plateauing viewership numbers, advertisers in the gaming could be persuaded to hop ship into a different streaming platform with a brand-friendly Ninja as their poster child and one with the added stability of Microsoft. Buuuuuut it’s hard to advertise on a platform when there’s only one person on it. That’s where the community piece comes in, and where the Ninja-Mixer partnership REALLY starts to fall apart. To understand why communities are important, think about each platform as a country And their community as their population Instagram is Finland where everyone is somehow leggy and blonde. Facebook is the country where everybody is over 40 and miserable. (Maybe… Russia?) And Twitch is the country that if your rich enough you could probably toss around your cat(!) Too soon? Yeah, maybe too soon. The thing about any country is that in order to make it work you need LOTS of people to fill LOTS of different roles, and it turns out that video platforms work in much the same way. There are gonna be small upstart creators on every platform. There are gonna be a couple really stand-out names at the top! But what really holds a platform up in the long run, is its middle class. Consider former president Obama’s case for the US needing a strong middle class from 2011 Summed up in a blog post written by David Madly “The middle class has a strong interest in making Government work well because… Quite simply, the middle class depends more on public services than the rich.” End quote. If your not getting held as supplies to the Ninja-Mixer situation. Basically what he’s saying is that if your in the middle class, you need the system your working in. (Or in this case the video platform your on.) To work for YOU! The things that the middle class tend to push for benefit the most people, because they representing the AVERAGE USER of the platform. Good public transportation and affordable health care are two great examples! If you’re rich, those things don’t matter as much to you because you got yourself a car, a driver and enough money to pay for the best hospitals. But for the middle class, those things matter because getting saddled with a twenty thousand hospital bill means a huge chunk of your yearly income disappearing until that bill gets paid back! Now look, at YouTube: Recently, YouTube made a huge policy change to prevent unfair copyright claims against creators. After years of pushing, YouTube came out with new features that make it harder to make false copyright claims. They EVEN started suing some of the worst copyright trolls to make an example to of what happens to people who abuse their systems! And who were the ones making the biggest push to get something like that enacted? MID-TIER CREATORS, those with tens, or even hundreds of thousands of subscribers. Not so much those with subscriberships in the millions, because big channels can sometimes backdoor their way out of those sorts of copyright situations. Using their agents, or their YouTube contacts. Or heck those creators may not have even known those claims existed in the first place because they have teams dedicated to handling that sort of stuff. Mid Tier creators though don’t have that luxury. Every false copyright claim is a punch to the gut. It is money directly out of their pocket. It is money that is quite frankly probably going to their rent check! At the end of that month. So they make their voices heard in HUGE numbers over the course of months, until the system started changing. And just to make it perfectly clear. There were indeed big creators fighting for this as well. I’m not saying every channel with over a million subscribers was like- “Eh, I don’t care about the copyright system.” A lot of us do. And a lot of us have been fighting for this tool for years! Ourselves included. But many other channels had other options in these sorts of circumstances. Or DIDN’T FEEL IT as acutely as the middle class. Obama also advocated for an economy grows, “not from the top down but from the middle out.” The blog post notes that the highest classes “Can easily opt out of a country’s regulations. Or even more to another country. Whereas when the when the middle class is strong, they have the political power to achieve their goals.” Think again on who this applies to us: top-tier creators on any platform often don’t have the rules apply to them. Just look at the situation Twitch is dealing with right now over favoritism And if they’re not getting the treatment they want from that platform, they just move to another country. Like the ‘United Mixer Emirates’ But the middle class has to make the system work for everyone, because they don’t have the luxuries of moving, and bringing all their stuff or fans with them. It’s also pretty well known that in economics the middle class is what drives innovation. Entrepreneurs disproportionately come out of the middle class. And the inventions that solve everyday problems comes from people who are dealing with those everyday problems! Not the rich elite. I’m not saying that Obama’s way is the right or the only way. The point of this way overextended analogy is that moving platforms forward in the long run. Requires creator communities. Not just a couple of elite individuals sitting at the top. Nothing really replaces a creator middle class. And it also doesn’t save the platform in the event that something changes, like say a game losing popularity. Let’s talk about a hypothetical scenario where Fortnite disappears tomorrow. *whoosh* What would happen to all the platforms where people play it? Well, YouTube would stop getting Fortnite videos and well basically go on as normal. Since it’s all about dem’ diamonds these days fam! But there’s just so much other stuff on YouTube that the viewership they would lose would be negligible. YouTube’s creator middle class has tons of interests. From Acrylic pouring to listicles about awkward save systems in games! Losing Fortnite doesn’t really matter a whole lot. There’s plenty of other stuff to watch. By the way Rabbid Luigi. I watch your channel EVERY week. Literally every week, just saying you got a fan over here congrats on your big move. Moving over to Twitch, if they lose Fortnite, almost 10% of the entire platform disappears. According to viewership statistics of games played on Twitch. Twitch has a much smaller creator community with narrower interests and a less built out middle class. Aaand you can probably see where this is going. The situation on Mixer is the most dire. Where Ninja accounted for 50% of the total platform viewership in his first stream. Like I mentioned earlier, accounts for 32% since then. If Fortnite disappears Ninja would still be there, but the other games he’s played typically haven’t pulled the same audience for him. Based on his Twitch stats he loses 31% of his audience when he plays Apex Legends. 78% when he plays League Of Legends. And over 90% of his audience when playing PUBG, HALO or Final Fantasy Since so much of Mixer’s viewership is based on Ninja, and so much of Ninja’s success is based on Fortnite, that investment in Ninja starts to look a little unstable in the long run. The long term problem with Mixer is buying up Ninja, and ONLY NINJA is that he’s one creator basically playing one game at the very tippy top of the creator economy. Great PR play in the short run! But in the long-term top creators don’t decide wherever the platform lives or dies. The platform spends it cash on one Mega Star, effectively making the rich richer, and ignoring the fact that you can’t create platform culture with just a single person. Presumably, the hope is that with Ninja’s move, lots of mid-sized creators will be inspired to make their jump to Mixer. But unlike Ninja, there’s no revenue guaranteed for it. No promise of financial or creative freedom like he has. For the millions that Mixer has probably paid for Ninja, they could have made the less splashy PR move, but probably much more impactful move, by giving that money to mid-sized creators. They could have encouraged hundreds, or even thousands, of mid-sized creators to build out a more diverse, and frankly more loyal, set of streamers on their land. Giving the audience more options, and hoping that some of them would indeed become hugely successful in their own right. Instead of having one creator whose income now doesn’t rely on the quality of his streams, they could have instead backed thousands of streamers who would still be hungry for their opportunity, who haven’t gotten their big chance out in the spotlight. And would still be looking to build audiences in their own right. They’d be buying for the number one Mixer position. Rather than just someone whose plopped into it and is basically unbeatable from this point forward. Ninja was a risky investment, not a diversified one. And not one that directly contributes to the platform growing in the long-term. What Mixer showed was that they care about a headline, not a community. Which, to me, doesn’t bode well for the future of streamers there. But hey! Who is to say? Maybe i’m wrong. Maybe their bet will pay of and there will be a steady stream of players headed over there to make their fortunes on Mixer inspired by Ninja’s intrepid (if not exactly risky) jump on over. Maybe we’re around the corner for the MIXER REVOLUTION! Maybe, tell that to Google Stadia. In the meantime, though, I want to say this. Doing this episode I recognized how incredibly lucky I am to have the audience that I do. To be in that proverbial YouTuber upper class. I see how hard it is for smaller creators to get discovered these days. One of the reasons I love having other shows on this channel, like: Game Exchange or Smash History back in the day was that it gave greater visibility, and ad revenue quite honestly, to other creators who are doing really good work but had smaller audiences. I love that idea of being able to pay it forward. Of working together to be stronger than the individual parts. Y’know? But, sadly, YouTube, and digital platforms as a whole have changed. Nowadays I can’t really host many other creators shows on here like I used to, just because of how digital platforms work. We gotta keep that momentum up! And the science works because it’s like “Oh, we’re practically the same show!” Spoiler alert! Don’t tell anyone! But, everything else, it just doesn’t quite match up properly, right? Anyways the reason I’m saying all this is this episode gave me an idea. Honestly, I want to try something new. Mixer may not be going out of their way to support mid-tier and lower-tier creators, but you know what? We will here. Over the next few episodes I’m gonna just, take some time to send out a little love to someone out there who’s really grinding away and doing awesome work! And who deserves to be recognized! Just to pay it forward, hopefully give them some visibility, spread some good karma out there. So today! I chose you Rabbid Luigi! I’ve watched Rabbid Luigi’s channel for years! Like I mentioned earlier in this episode, in fact! For those of you who don’t know, Rabbid Luigi does top five and top ten countdowns, which may not sound like anything ground breaking, but his topics are always fun and creative. Like: Greatest Games On Failed Platforms and Top Five Games That You Can’t Legitimately Finish. [Rabbid Luigi] I once made a video about difficulty spikes, which is where there’s this sudden rise in challenge that the player can’t prepare for, and often gets stuck at. [Matt] And in each of his lists there’s always and entry or two that surprises me or some fact that catches me off-guard. [Rabbid Luigi] Gammation, got to work on Gamma Attacks, supposedly the sole copy is owned by Anthony Denardo. Who tried to sell in 2008 for HALF A MILLION DOLLARS!!! [Matt] His calls to subscribe are also things of beauty. Play the clip! [Rabbid Luigi] Even when you do get around to saving, you have to watch this stupid ad like a mobile game about this mediocre YouTuber reminding his viewers to subscribe if they enjoyed the video and hit a bell for notifications, or whatever? WHAT THE **** IS YOUTUBE? THIS IS 1996! [Matt] Right? They’re awesome! They’re like more seamless than our transitions into the sponsors at the end of videos! I will say though, Rabbid, your French episode. Nnnnnyea it’s a bit of a weird decision. [Rabbid Luigi] *Badly speaks French* [Matt] I mean the WHOLE THING was French. So if you like yourself gaming countdowns with a delightful accent and an equally delightful sense of snark, then Rabbid Luigi s a personal favorite of mine! Link is down below in the Thingy-Ma-Do. And if you have any favorite channels that you’d like me to check out, and potentially call out if I like them, let me know down in the comments below! SO ANYWAY, In honor of Rabbid, THIS has been MatPat. And remember: it’s all just a theory. A GAME THEORY!!! Thanks for watching! *End music plays*

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100 thoughts on “Game Theory: The Ninja Mixer MISTAKE! (The Ninja Mixer Deal Part 2)”

  • There's one important detail that you miss when comparing the audiences of Twitch/mixer versus Youtube. Youtube is mainly video on demand, while Twitch is live streaming… This means these streamers are fighting for the eyes of the viewer pool that is watching at a given moment just like TV, while Youtube creators share their audiences with each other without having to compete unless they, d'oh, go live.

  • 😎
    You ask for you tubers here’s my two favorite the top 10 artists Joshscorcher and the green scorpion
    https://m.youtube.com/user/joshscorcher
    https://m.youtube.com/user/greenscorpion64

  • hey Matpat i recomend this one. She hasint ben doing this for werry long butt she is putting forth 1-2 videos a day and atleast to me they are all pretty good and i hope you like her vids too
    https://www.youtube.com/user/Malisity/featured

  • hey matpat! please please go check out NicoB! he is a really dedicated and funny let’s player with around 150,000 subs, and he has created an entire show called “Council of Voices” based around the voices he gives to various characters in his let’s plays. he writes entire scripts and the show is hilarious but also dramatic as well, seriously you should go check him out.

  • I'd recommend TheRunawayGuys. It's a collab Let's play channel with Chuggaaconroy (a pioneer of let's playing from 2008) ProtonJon (an even earlier pioneer of Let's playing and now a twitch partner) and NintendoCapriSun (another classic Let's player) but yeah, TRG has about 500k subscribers and I think they could make a good smaller channel shoutout.

  • I hope ninja gets poor that he can't even afford fortnite, and dies because he figured out that fortnite isn't good, and that its not even a real game, its for – ages

  • Channels I watch that would love to see a shout out to:

    Double Toasted (movie review duo lives in Austin, hilarious, also covers modern topics with as much insight as their reviews)

    Saberspark (reviews strange animated films both obscure and infamous, also talks about the fascinating histories of animation companies and children’s show networks)

    Sideways (video essayist analyzing music from films and sometimes video games, extremely informative and fascinating theses)

    Terrible Writing Advice (author who helps writers approach common tropes and practices with efficiency while also being sarcastic and explaining the worst ways to go about writing as if they’re the best ways)

    KatFTWynn (Twitch streamer who uploads streams on YouTube, extremely enjoyable to watch, sometimes invites her mother to play games with her, EXTREMELY talented artist who does her own thumbnails)

    Lindsay Ellis (film analyst who teaches film theory and film trends, most might have known her formally as the Nostalgia Chick, amazing editing and insightful commentary, especially her Hugo Award-nominated documentary trilogy “The Hobbit Duology”.

    These are just six of multiple talented middle-class creators that I hope get more attention. ❤️

  • I want to take Fortnite out so people will finally realize Fortnite is 1 of 2000 differant games so let's show the world.

  • You used 0.003 for 1/10 instead of 0.3 and so your calculations of how much ninja gets from views by two digits with a value of …..0 Boom 💥 👏🏻 and 1/2

  • Tamago2474 is a great YouTuber that I’ve been watching for about a year now and he totally deserves more recognition! He has a great series called “Game Show” where he reviews games. He also revisits some old games on his channel and he’ll tell stories every now and then too. Definitely worth checking out.

  • Hey Mat, if you could check out the channel HoH Presents, I'd appreciate it. It's a small channel that mostly streams on twitch, but they do board and card games as well as a tabletop roleplaying game that the DM created. Even if you can't highlight them on an episode, I'm sure they'd appreciate some feedback on how to improve their viewership/visibility if you can find the time to make a comment. But hey, that's just a theory.

  • I would definitely recommend a callout for the "Bittersweet Gamers".
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSbuezxekbGdTGMcrxE5I9g

    They are a thoughtful, hilariously funny duo that does playthrough of mystery and story based popular video games from the past and present. They talk about their interesting and crazy life experiences, are a pair of good friends that have made me laugh or think many times through their jokes, their commentary on the games they play, and their way of connecting and talking to each other and their viewers. One of my favorite Youtube channels of all time, and they are tiny but have an extremely loyal base that is growing steadily. They also interact a lot with their viewers, engaging and featuring their questions and comments on the show and taking the time to debate, agree, or talk to them on Discord and on Youtube. Actually only found out about them when they first started because their father was a partner in a masters class I was taking, and he was telling people about the channel they were starting.

    They also come from two very different backgrounds. One, Billy, is a large and powerful funny guy with long hair who has a troubled background and doesn't talk much about it, aside from the few allusions to it that his friend Damon makes and that they joke about darkly. He has a great sense of humor, is a master of bad puns, and jokes constantly. He also reins Damon in when his friend gets overly enthusiastic and begins to wax poetic or gets enraged while he is philosophizing over any game's characters or story line. Damon, his childhood friend, is a highly educated and traveled man who is fluent in Japanese and lived there for a while he studied. He loves philosophy, any subject of study around history, cultures, people and literature, and he brings these discussions into the field of popular, beloved story-based games. They both play off of each other perfectly and bring a ton to the discussion, and their good video editing and competent gaming skill also helps to make it fun to watch them navigate each game for the first time. It is an extremely refreshing channel to watch.

    They post new videos every day except for when they take brief breaks, and I watch their episodes daily if I'm not busy, or let them build up so I can binge watch a ton all at once! I highly recommend the Bittersweet Gamers to anyone who thinks they might be interested. It is a truly hilarious and engaging channel and I've discovered so many new games to love from watching it.

  • Hey Matpat, I was wondering if you'd like to try and do a theory about what makes up joy in We Happy Few? I've been wondering, but I can't really think of anything myself. Would you be interested??

  • Dominic Noble is really good channel it's a show dissecting how books change when being adapted and is a very sarcastic British host
    The show is called Lost in Adaptation

  • I recommend MeMelon, he’s got a small channel with only about 600 subs but great editing, a good character and an ironically funny sense of humor. He has been putting out consistently good videos at a consistent pace since his very first video. If you don’t shout him out then at least treat yourself and give him a watch. I really want to see him win. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNoCBav961t37WBlsiCXgpg. I don’t think that MatPat actually reads his comments but anyone else who is reading this. Go check him out… and maybe tell him that I sent you.

  • If you enjoy a delightful fellow checking out a variety of horror games, I recommend CJUGames! I feel he deserves a bigger fan base. Uploads daily!

  • So… in Matt Pats terms

    Coke(Ninja) has many flavors(different games streamed) but the moment Diet Coke (Fortnite) is out of the picture, Coke losses a big chunk of their revenue (Viewers)

  • Hey, a bit late on this train. . .and, I know it is a gaming channel, but a shoutout to the Runawayguys collab channel for three awesome guys who genuinely aim to have fun and provide their followers some quality entertainment that they themselves (for the most part) enjoy as well.
    Either that or um. . .StephenVlog, because Stephen Georg deserves a lot more followers for a truely awesome dedicated vlogger who doesn't over dramatise his own and just generally has a conversation with his 'grandkids'

  • Check out snesdrunk. Lots of great content. It's not always about snes games though so there is a bit more of a variety. A lot of great research goes into each episode and he posts fairly often

  • Ninja use to be a professional Halo player.. Microsoft owns Halo as well as Mixer and and now they own Ninja as well… I think I see a pattern here.

  • Matpat, please check out Geek Remix. They are a let's play channel that's so much more. Their 2 girls 1 let's play series is great. They're funny, smart, inclusive. Please check them out. They should be getting waaaay more views than they are.

  • Yo! MatPat!! You should check out my big sister’s channel!! She’s totally amazing!! datigersquirrel is her channel!! 😁😁😁😁

  • Would it be weird/bad to suggest my own channel? 😅 Cuz uh… Yeah. I do. Lolz 😝 Specifically my Room Full Of Nuts skits and singing videos

  • You wanna support some awesome mid tier YouTubers? Sunburned Albino, all the way. Give my Albino Boy some love, because he deserves it

  • If you wanna check out fun creators, I would suggest Rusty – Superforge,he also does lists about gaming but is a joy to watch and listen to

  • Hey MatPat been a fan for over 5 years. Anyway, I do a FNAF themed wrestling show using in game art from horror games to remake scary characters and have brawls under WWE rules. If you want to see FNAF 4 vs FNAF 6, or bendy vs slenderman (for example) it's a fun kid friendly show. Hope you check it out, doubt it will happen but here's hoping. I've climbed to 27K subs