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Mixer vaults to top of App Store because of 'Ninja' switch from Twitch

Mixer, Microsoft's game-centric live streaming service, saw a surge of popularity that sent it to the top of the App Store charts on Friday, driven by the news celebrity streamer 'Ninja' will be moving over to it exclusively from market leader Twitch.

Tyler Blevins, best known as "Ninja," announced on Thursday he was leaving his online home Twitch, in favor of Mixer. The change of streaming service is an exclusive for Mixer, with Ninja leaving his large audience of 14.7 million followers from Twitch to start almost from new on the rival service.

Within 24 hours of the announcement, TechCrunch reports the Mixer app shot to the top of the App Store's free charts. As of Saturday, it is still at the top of the "Entertainment" apps chart in the United States, and number four in the United Kingdom's version. Ninja's Mixer channel has also managed to acquire more than 250,000 followers in a 24 hour period, and is nearing half a million by Saturday morning.

Acquired in 2016 by Microsoft, Mixer is a game streaming service that operates largely in the same way as Twitch. Streamers can host live gaming streams through the service for viewing by others, with opportunities to earn revenue from subscriptions, donations from the audience, and even sponsorships from third-party companies.

The changeover is a massive coup for Mixer, as it is the smallest provider of live game streaming out of all others. According to StreamElements, Mixer was watched for only 3% of live game-streaming hours over the second quarter, with Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook taking up 72.2%, 19.5%, and 5.3% of hours respectively.

Twitch advised in a statement " We've loved watching Ninja on Twitch over the years and are proud of all that he's accomplished for himself and his family, and the gaming community. We wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors." Mixer offered a similar statement, adding "We look forward to the energy Ninja and his community will bring."