Influencers who maintain audiences across diverse platforms are able to make business decisions that might otherwise spell disaster.
Last weekend, Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, a professional esports player and online personality, began streaming exclusively on Microsoft’s Mixer platform. For an influencer, the move seemed crazy. After all, he was the most popular streamer on Amazon’s Twitch platform with 14.7 million followers. Blevins even claimed to earn over half a million dollars per month on the site.
The influencer, known for his wild hair colors and skills in Epic Games’ battle royale game Fortnite, was able to not only survive the risky move to a new streaming home but thrive because Twitch was not his only outlet. Blevins maintains audiences across social media, YouTube, and offline through a line of merchandise.
“Earned media” is the value of engagements a brand (including influencers) receives across channels as a result of their marketing efforts. To help quantify what the value of those engagements is worth, a.network established the Social Index and assigned a quantifiable dollar amount for marketing gains a brand receives from a campaign or individual engagement that includes social media networks and similar digital properties.
(Editor’s note: AList is the publishing arm of Ayzenberg Group. To get up to speed on the rapid changes affecting the social media landscape, click here.)
According to estimates by a.network’s Social Index, Blevins added nearly 112,000 new followers across the three major social channels (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram), which generated $211,268 in earned media value (EMV). This figure does not include YouTube, on which he had 22 million subscribers as of August 6.
Since Blevin’s announcement, Mixer experienced an 11 percent growth on its four major social channels, adding 50,000 new social followers. These new followers are equal to $72,241 in earned media, per Social Index.
“It’s a fascinating move which has generated great results for the Mixer brand, as they are already seeing a positive return on their investment with Ninja,” Jocelyn Harjes, director of marketing science at Ayzenberg told AList. “The Mixer social channels following growth over the past few days alone as generated nearly $75,000.”
Launched in 2016, Mixer is Microsoft’s interactive livestream platform that offers incentives to streamers and their audiences through a virtual currency called Sparks. The service, tied closely to the Xbox gaming platform, hosts weekly Mixer Matchups tournaments at Microsoft Store locations. Audiences can view and “follow” livestreams for free and subscribe to a streamer to receive exclusives for $5 per month.
As of August 6, Blevins had already become the second most followed streamer on Mixer with 706,425 followers and over one million subscribers. Blevins has generated 4.1 million views on Mixer, reached Level 42 status and earned 126,548 Sparks through his activities. He is second only to David “TheGrefg” Cánovas Martínez who has 54.3M followers.
Blevins’ swift rise on Mixer is no doubt being aided by a promotional campaign through September 30 that offers a free one-month subscription to his channel.
Blevins has attracted multiple brand sponsors over the years from Red Bull to Electronic Arts. His rise to fame was bolstered by his esports career and the explosive popularity of Fortnite. His mainstream status has earned him guest appearances on talk shows like The Ellen DeGeneres Show and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and he became the first esports player to be featured on the cover of ESPN The Magazine.
If Blevins had focused all his energy on Twitch, he would be in an entirely different position today. Influencers of all sizes should take care to nurture audiences on multiple platforms, customizing messages to each, the same way that any entrepreneur creates a professional network. That way, if opportunity strikes—or if a platform is discontinued—your audience will be happy to follow you anywhere.