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A New Mysterious Streaming Platform, Kick, Is Poised To Overtake Amazon-Backed Twitch

Twitch was originally founded back in 2011 by Justin Kan and Emmett Shear.

(Emmett Shear left. Justin Kan right.)

A couple of years later, on August 24th, 2014, Twitch was acquired by Amazon for $970 million dollars.

Between the first mover advantage Twitch had, and the AWS-backed infrastructure Amazon was willing to provide to Twitch? They were unstoppable.

For quite a while, Twitch has remained on top in terms of streaming market share. It wasn’t a competition.

No matter how competitors like Youtube, or Facebook tried to dip their toes into the streaming market, their products never truly caught on. Particularly in the gaming sector.

Most popular streamers only switched to competitors like Youtube if they were banned from Twitch.

However, Twitch’s popularity peaked way back in 2021 at the end of the pandemic.

Since then it’s been in constant decline….

Gambling? I’d Love To

As more and more creators became more vocal about their complaints with Twitch, the momentum for a competitor only grew.

(Trainwreck while streaming.)

Popular Twitch streamer Trainwreck was one of those people vocal with their complaints.

He was notorious for gambling on stream, literally millions of dollars, but the thing is he was sponsored to do that.

On stream, he might be winning a lot of money, but that money is the house’s money.

He was sponsored by a huge online casino that goes by the name of Stake.com — which is relevant later on.

In fact, he was paid self-admittedly $360 million over 16 months to gamble on stream… giving away $70 million to his fans.

The average Joe watching doesn’t realize or think about the fact gambling is systematically set up so the house always wins. They just see Trainwrecks winning and want to win too.

For longer than a year his content revolved entirely around online gambling… that is, until Twitch banned it and TrainwrecksTV himself.

Then Came Kick

After Twitch banned him, Trainwreck announced the following on Twitter:

Twitch has deemed most of us, irrelevant.

As a top 5 twitch creator in the world for 16.5 months straight, and currently a top 10 twitch creator in the world, I have a good understanding of twitch, its foundations, whether they be underground or mainstream, and the way everything works. Twitch pads the pockets of a handful of creators, and they are the only ones that won’t admit twitch’s negligence toward the majority of its streamers. I’ve always believed in Twitch and want to stream there, but they are going in the wrong direction. Twitch has built an empire off of our backs and has the audacity to spit in all of our faces by not only giving us no financial security, with its inconsistent policies, but by also cutting our pay in places that they have no right to cut. Twitch claims to be in one of the strongest positions ever, citing the highest viewership, sponsorship, and profitability in the history of the platform; despite their claims, streamers continuously get pay cut after pay cut. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. Twitch says they need to cut our pay because it costs too much to run a stream, but then they tell Amazon and the media that they are profitable and have more viewership and advertisers than ever. Whichever it is, it’s obvious no benefits are being passed onto their creators who are the lifeblood of what made them successful in the first place.

Twitch takes the highest percentage split of any platform in the livestreaming world. At 50%, every streamer on Twitch will only receive $2.50 of each subscription, and less if they’re not in a first world country. I don’t believe it’s right to take such a high percentage of the work that a streamer does. Twitch does nearly no marketing for streamers, no discovery, and limited help in building their business. Those streamers only succeed from the blood, sweat, and time they put in themselves. Twitch’s only role is as a website host. Given their contribution, it is absurd that they take 50% of our income. A few months ago Twitch announced that the 70/30 splits streamers were hoping for are not coming. They said it’s too expensive to run their website and that those costs have to pass onto the creators. Yet platforms like Youtube maintain a 70/30 split on subscriptions without issue. But I think 70/30 is still not enough – and that we can do even better.

As most of you know, I’ve been working on a couple projects to make the live streaming world better. Today I want to announce one of those projects. I’m joining https://www.kick.com/ as a non-owner advisor and non-exclusive broadcaster. I will work with their team to help creators succeed where Twitch has failed them – starting with a 95% split of all subscriber income to creators.

I choose to work with Kick because their investors are willing to listen to creator input to make their platform better. Kick understands that a successful platform starts with a successful streamer. I’ve worked with their team already to create these benefits that no other platform has. These features will roll out in the near future:

– Everyone gets a sub button. 95%-5% subscriber split with 95% of all subscriber income going to the streamer.

– 100% of all tips made on Kick, called “kicks”, will go to the streamer. Same day withdrawal.

– An innovative new exclusive creator program that will pay our partners for their stream’s success. This program works like no partner program before. You won’t have to rely on your subscriber count alone every month. You’ll get a steady income based on hours watched and total viewers you stream to with an option to be paid out on the same day.

– A TOS designed to be fair to streamers with clear rules on what’s okay and not okay. No ambiguous bans. Kick’s current TOS will be completely updated. The new TOS will include rules governing ethical gambling. Fill balances must be disclosed. No wager locked giveaways, no code locked giveaways, and no lying to audiences regarding the reality of gambling’s losing nature.

– Plus many more features I will share on my next update via Twitter.

You will wonder how these splits are possible. Twitch has led people to believe that subscriptions are a big revenue driver for their company. That’s why they tell creators they can’t give them a 70/30 split. But subscriptions are a tiny amount of revenue for livestreaming websites. What drives revenue is ads.

Kick will partner with the world’s leading advertisers to generate cash flow. I believe that creating the best incentives for creators will lead the best creators to Kick, and the best creators will bring the best advertisers. Kick will stand out because of how it takes care of its creators.

The platform is the beginning of a completely different approach to livestreaming. The platform is still in the building stages. Kick will roll out these features in the near future under my direction. I’m in constant communication with the ownership and developer team and I’m confident in their mission.

Be patient with Kick and give it time to develop. There will be bugs and issues, and this isn’t a complete launch. I’ll be running test streams alongside my Twitch streams starting today. It takes time to make a good platform and to be clear, this isn’t a hard launch. Kick will add features and fix problems as they come up.

If you’re a streamer reading this, give Kick at least a year to develop. Watch Kick’s development and decide if it’s the right platform for you. For that reason the Kick team and I are making Kick a baseline non-exclusive platform. We’re putting the power into the streamers hands to decide if you want exclusivity or not. If you want to pursue exclusivity, we will offer additional paid options through our creator program.

Somewhere along the line, Twitch lost its grasp on reality. Twitch used to feel like a place made for us, by us. But Twitch built their empire off our backs and then forgot about us. They lost the reason Twitch became #1 in the first place. Kick’s team and I have a vision to make a livestreaming platform that’s actually built first for creators. Not just for Twitch’s huge creators with paid contracts, but for the small and mid-sized creators who are the foundation and backbone of all livestreaming platforms. We’ll bring livestreaming back to what it was before Twitch lost its way. An authentic experience between viewers and streamers.

There’s no way you can look at that statement and tell me Trainwreck doesn’t own a piece of that pie.

He uses the wordage, “Today I want to announce one of those projects. I’m joining https://www.kick.com/ as a non-owner advisor and non-exclusive broadcaster. I will work with their team to help creators succeed where Twitch has failed them,” but what exactly does “non-owner advisor” mean?

That reads exactly like a PR statement. Regardless, it’s very likely he has something at stake (ba-dum-tss) behind Kick.

What’s the Connection Between Stake.com?

Stake.com is probably the biggest online casino and was founded by two men: Ed Craven, and Bijan Tehrani.

(Australia’s youngest billionaire, Ed Craven, on the left. Bijan Tehrani on the right.)

One of Stake’s biggest forms of advertising was paying streamers to gamble on their site, beyond TrainwrecksTV…

Losing the ability to get eyeballs from Twitch is a rather big loss for online gambling sites like Stake.com, but it doesn’t matter too much when major sporting leagues around the world as well as major artists like Drake will gladly line up to take your money to promote your product.

Also, Drake, a major promoter for Stake has also been promoting Kick:

While I can’t tell you for certain how much money Stake makes… I can tell you they make money hand over fist. Gambling is a major money maker. It’s the only business model your customers will gladly pay you to systematically lose in the long run.

They have plenty of money to invest, and what makes more sense than investing in an area you have significant influence in already?

It makes perfect sense for Stake.com to want to start a Twitch rival.

They already have relationships with major streamers, and they have the funds to make it happen.

Plus, if they pull it off… there are very good advertising opportunities for Stake.

For some reason, though, no one has blatantly come out from Stake.com saying “we own Kick,” even though the parent company Easygo says on their site itself “Easygo is the Australian powerhouse behind some of the world’s fastest growing online brands including Kick and Stake.”

Plus, the F1 car Stake.com pays to sponsor replaces their logo with Kick when driven on a course that doesn’t allow online gambling advertising.

How could those two possibly not be connected?

Nothing yet has been confirmed, but, it’s extremely likely Ed Craven and Bijan Tehrani own Kick, and Trainwrecks has some level of ownership (advisor if you ask him) — due to the close relationship established from the previous deal they had back on Twitch.

He was one of the first people to announce it and build any steam for it.

Mixer vs. Kick

The catalog of streamers switching over is continuously growing. There are quite a few streamers unhappy with Twitch.

Plus, Kick is doing a very good job at advertising. What led me to even write this article in the first place is seeing non-stop ads on Youtube from them.

When Microsoft-owned Mixer tried to compete with Twitch, they mainly tried using exclusive deals to get viewers to switch over.

For example, they paid Ninja (one of the most popular Fortnight gaming streamers at the time) between $20-30 million to stream on Mixer exclusively.

They closed plenty more exclusivity deals with other streamers, too…

Obviously, that didn’t work out too well for them considering it was owned by the tech giant Microsoft and is already defunct.

(It’s important to note it’s not Google…. Microsoft.)

Kick Is Paying More Than Just TrainwrecksTV To Stream

Recently it was announced Kick closed a deal with singlehandedly one of the most popular streamers right now, xQc:

The price tag for non-exclusive streaming was worth a reported $70 million dollars, and the deal included another $30 million in bonuses if certain goals were met.

That sounds like something only someone with an online casino could (or would be willing to) afford.

Adin Ross, another huge streamer signed the “biggest streaming contract of all time” for an amount assumed to be more than $100 million but less than $150 million for a 2-year exclusive streaming deal… according to him.

Adin also said Kick offered other popular streamers Kai and iShowSpeed, the latter kind of being part of Adin’s cast per se around $40M to stream on Kick.

Clearly, Kick has plenty of money to hand out. Probably money from Stake.com… and they’re partially reusing the same tactics Microsoft did with Mixer.

Depending on if the streamer is up to signing an exclusive or non-exclusive deal…

($70 million dollars for xQc’s non-exclusive deal is insane.)

Kick Has a Better Selling Point Than Mixer or Twitch

You could make the argument signing deals with popular streamers, so their fanbase comes over to watch them  — and stays on your platform because they like it is a bad idea…

Because, ya’ know… as we saw with Microsoft-backed Mixer (really big pockets), that didn’t work out.

Which is a fair argument…

You could also argue they’re doomed to fail against Amazon-backed Twitch with a major first-mover advantage because neither Google (with Youtube streaming) nor Microsoft with Mixer was able to beat them.

How is an online gambling casino supposed to compete against a tech giant and win if two other tech giants couldn’t?

Fair argument as well.

But all of the massive deals aside, you have to consider Kick just simply has a better selling point.

Who is going to argue with a 95%/5% profit split in comparison to 50%/50% or 70%/30%?

No one. Kick is appealing to content creators because they give them a better cut all around, plus, it’s a bit easier to grow initial momentum on Kick than Twitch for small streamers due to the design of the site.

It doesn’t hurt Stake.com is experienced with advertising and already has existing deals in place with major artists like Drake, either.

Stake has big pockets and it looks like they’re willing to invest in Kick.

Only time will tell how Kick turns out because things looked bright for Mixer when it first came out, too…

But as it stands? Things are looking positive for Kick and statistically downhill for Twitch.

Sir Foxy

1 Comment

  1. testtube:

    I’ll be honest, I’m disappointed in the quality of this article. It seems off topic and poorly formatted. Like the Elon vs Zuck article from the other week. People come here for hosting drama, not e-celeb drama.

    July 21, 2023 @ 4:29 pm | Reply

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