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Tycho / on Fri, Aug 2 2019 at 1:48 pm

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The Zero Factor

Gabe has some experience on Mixer as a platform, invaluable experience, and with Ninja’s lateral move to the service there’s a lot of wisdom to pass on.  There’s plenty to like there at the service level, but you’d stream there primarily because you wanted to or to tilt at a deeply entrenched conceptual windmill not because it was part of your business plan.  Or if you were Ninja, with everything that entails.

I read that Microsoft paid a hundred million dollars to secure Ninja.  Microsoft did not pay a hundred million dollars to secure Ninja.  That is a dumb thing to say.  They don’t have to pay a hundred million dollars: they only have to make him whole.  That is to say, they need to maintain the water level of his income.  He said that he’s doing this to get back to why he was doing streaming in the first place, which most people dismiss out of hand.  I’m not going to say money didn’t change hands, that’s equally stupid.  What they can offer is something you don’t get in that industry, which is security.

I know a lot of people who make their living tilling this bizarre new field, and when they try to stop for even a second the cyberpunk realities of a job making commercials for multinational corporations with no safety net sets in fast.  He was Ninja, the Halo kid, and then somehow he became “Ninja,” the commodity, moated by these meaningful quotation marks.  Streaming for fun, and not simply to stave off brand-murdering inertia, is something I’m sure he’d be happy to get back to.

We don’t need to resort to conspiracies, here is something we can authentically prove: for a period of a couple weeks, Electronic Arts and Respawn were able to create the impression that Fortnite was over.  Fortnite.  I talked about the type of swing when it happened, but the takeaway is that people don’t watch Twitch.  They watch Streamers.  Twitch currently operates like a 24/7 American Idol star foundry.  And an unintended ramification of this device is that they can manufacture their own foes.  Whatever Microsoft paid, the only thing we know about it is that’s how much it costs to make these news sites write about Mixer.

So Ninja is an influencer entity with the properties Twitch and Fortnite, but the container entity represents the value to thirsty brands desperate to hello a fellow kid.  He can put up a different link to his audience.  The portability of this kind of fame is not a hundred percent, but when you have over fourteen million followers on Instagram it might be higher than you think.  Plus, it doesn’t matter.  As the world’s first Streamer In Residence, Ninja is the first broadcaster to escape the pit.

(CW)TB out.


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