Beam co-founder Salsamendi talks about Microsoft’s goals for Mixer streaming

Kit McDonald


Last week, the Casual Connect gaming conference in Seattle had a bustling of speakers to share what they saw in the future for the industry. One among them was Matt Salsamendi, co-founder of Beam and, by acquisition, now leader of Microsoft’s Mixer livestream platform.

While there are plenty of broadcasting services to choose from, Mixer has set itself apart from the crowd with a focus on the interaction between the streamer and their viewers. For example, APIs are used to add buttons and encourage decision making. Add that to its quite low delay time, Mixer has proven itself a competition for Twitch already.

Salsamendi discussed during a Q&A (via Geekwire) that community is by far the growth factor that develops Mixer as a service. Since his early beginnings on Twitch, Salsamendi knew that community were the building blocks of successful broadcasting. “I don’t personally think of it as much about competition, but in reality it sort of is,” he shared. “I think that our North Star is always going to be those interactive broadcasters, and continuing to build features for them and socialize what we’re doing.”

To continue fostering community oriented growth, Mixer uses feedback. Salsamendi says that he sees more interactive games coming in the future, such as the Telltale Games crow-play feature. He’s also excited to see the development of eSports. Breaking away from traditional cable TV, platforms like Mixer could essentially involve its viewing audience with sports. “I think that, as eSports continues to evolve, you’re going to see a lot more viewers becoming a fundamental part of the experience,” Salsamendi theorized.

Of course, Mixer is still young and has its issues. As seen during the E3 2017 conference, the weight of 200,000 concurrent users bogged down the chat and had many issues for various people. However, the service later in the week offered video in 4k of the event with low latency sub-second streaming. Salsamendi assured that the issues seen were items that they’ve already worked through.

“We use a technology called WebRTC to do video delivery in the browsers, which is a very, very new technology. It hasn’t even been fully standardized yet. But it does exist in most browsers, and there’s libraries to do it on mobile for example. So we’ve definitely been pioneers in that community, and we help wherever we can to help foster that.”

The interview rounded up with Salsamendi expressing his appreciation for the Mixer team as they continue to build a better service. You can read the full word for word transcript on GeekWire.