Microsoft Renames Beam To 'Mixer,' Adds New Features To Streaming Service

Microsoft began its push into the livestream space in March with the launch of Beam, the company’s own service that could rival Twitch due to its focus on low latency and interaction between player and viewers. Today more features are coming to Beam, along with a new name for the service.

From now on, the service will be known as "Mixer," and the name change was made to emphasize the need to share content across Microsoft’s multiple platforms, which include the Xbox One, Windows 10 PCs, and even mobile devices. If you already use Mixer, you can try out some new features today, including co-streaming, which will allow you to broadcast four different streams on one channel. If you’re playing a game with three friends, this feature will let you show the perspective of each player simultaneously. However, co-streaming also works when you and your friends are playing different games. 

If you’re looking for new content to watch, you can check out the new “Channel One.” The moderated channel serves as a starting point for newcomers to see the many broadcasts on Mixer at any given point in the day. If that’s enough, you can go to the new dedicated Mixer page on the Xbox dashboard and find the content you want based on a specific broadcaster or game.

Most streaming content today is through a console or PC, but Mixer will also let you stream from your phone with the beta version of its Mixer Create app. For now, you can only self-broadcast, or in other words, stream what you’re seeing through the phone’s camera. However, the Mixer team plans to implement a feature sometime in the future that will allow you to stream your mobile gameplay onto Mixer. The mobile gaming stream will also work with co-streaming so that you can continue to share your content on mobile while your friends play on PC or on the Xbox One. 

To celebrate the new name and features, Microsoft will also hold multiple events on its Mixer channel starting at 11am PDT today that includes multiple game tournaments, highlights from the esports world, and a fireworks show at 9 pm PDT to conclude. The fireworks show will be different in that users can determine which rockets to launch into the sky. In order to provide your own input on the show, you’ll need to use Sparks, which you can earn by watching (you gain two Sparks per minute that you watch a Mixer stream) and by participating in interactive sessions throughout a livestream.

If you haven’t tried Mixer yet, you can check out our preview of its earlier version (when it was called Beam) at GDC.

  • No, thanks.
  • dusty13
    never used beam ... but why change a perfectly good name into something that sounds like a kitchen appliance?

    microsoft special needs department ... err microsoft marketing is at it again it seems.
  • Malicex64
    Honestly, even though I like and use Twitch regularly ( even more so now that they merged with Curse ), this is a great option. Just recently, I was playing on the XB1 with some console buds, and one of the guys couldn't join but asked me to stream so he could sort of participate.

    I had never tried Beam ( now Mixer ), but it was as simple as hitting the stream button from the xbox menu and telling him the URL. I was impressed TBH. This weekend is a LAN party where multiple guys can't attend ( mid-thirties, wives and kids, etc ) but the idea that we could stream a channel with 4 of our screens? That's pretty damn cool.
  • ammaross
    Multi-channel viewing has existed for a while now; albeit enabled via 3rd-party sites that would basically just frame multiple streams into a single webview.

    Beam (bleh with "Mixer") is an interesting service that allows sub-1sec streaming lag behind realtime, so you can near-instantly respond to chat during your stream, rather than the awkward asking a question and waiting 40 seconds for responses to come in. Yes, a delay is understandable for competitive gaming to prevent watchers (who may also be participating) from "looking over your shoulder," but that should be a configurable option, not a default. The biggest problem is viewership; there's simply more people on Twitch.
  • jeremy2020
    Beam has better tech. Twitch has marketshare.

    Mixer is just a terrible name. Did they not focus group this?