Just a few months after being freed from his exclusivity contract with the doomed streaming platform Mixer and after turning down a deal to sign with Facebook Gaming, which had merged with Mixer, Tyler “Ninja” Blevins it seems is testing the water with a number of streaming services.
Blevins began his new period of ‘free agency’ by hosting a stream on YouTube in early July, which has now attracted more than 4 million views, proving that Ninja still has plenty of pulling power for would-be partners.
He then logged back into his Twitch account almost a year to the day that he left the service to join Mixer. Blevins, who has over 14.8 million followers on the service, then played Fortnite. This is the first time that Ninja has streamed on the service since leaving for Mixer in 2019.
It proved to be a big hit with fans as, despite a rather low-key announcement of the stream on Twitter, the stream still attracted nearly 100,000 viewers just a quarter of an hour after it went live.
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Fresh Deal on the Horizon?
Having decided not to join Facebook Gaming, Blevins is effectively a very high profile ‘free agent’ in the streaming market and as his Twitch and YouTube streams have shown, he can still pull in the big numbers that are attractive to service owners and advertisers.
Industry experts feel that at the moment, Blevins is testing out his options on each streaming service, perhaps with a view to signing a deal with one of them in the near future and while Blevins cemented his fame on the Twitch service, the development of YouTube streaming and Facebook Gaming over the past 12 months in particular, mean that there is still plenty of competition in the streaming industry, even with Mixer’s demise.
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Appeal of Ninja
Certainly, despite the Mixer situation, the Appeal of Ninja has not diminished within the streaming community. While in his last week on Mixer Ninja averaged around 2000 to 3000 viewers, on his first YouTube Live stream, he had over 16,000 people in the waiting room for the stream, twenty minutes before it went live.
Those are figures that it is handy to have in your back pocket as a high-ranking streamer when you are going to be negotiating with prospective partners for an exclusivity deal.
While fans seem very keen to welcome Ninja back onto any streaming service, the player himself has remained relatively tight-lipped about his future, simply stating at the end of his Twitch stream that he has missed streaming and that he would like to do a little more of it.
It is also apparent that the move to play on YouTube and Twitch was the decision of the player, and nothing to do with any imminent deal between Blevins and the streaming service.
In truth, whether Blevins is just enjoying a little gaming and streaming in his now free time, or whether it is a case of testing the waters with a new streaming deal in mind, it really won’t matter in the longer term. Any streaming service in the world today wants streamers with Ninja’s popularity and it will not be long before a fresh multi-million deal has been struck to secure his services.
The more interesting question may well who that will be with.
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