Twitch has been the leading streaming platform for many years now. Since its inception in 2011, the streaming service has constantly grown with each passing year.
Despite being the dominant force in the industry, Twitch has been under much criticism lately. That became even more evident when the Amazon-owned site banned some gambling activities on its platform.
Twitch made their update public via a Twitter post on September 21, 2022. According to the statement, the platform has prohibited slots, roulette, dice, and other games unlicensed in the US. Following the update, many streamers have already started looking for alternatives.
A popular streamer on Twitch with over 2.1 million followers, Tyler “Trainwrecks” Niknam, has announced plans to launch a new live-streaming platform that aims to offer content creators a more favorable revenue split than they currently receive on Twitch.
The platform, set to launch soon, will offer a 95-5 split in favor of creators, compared to Twitch’s 50-50 share policy. But how did this idea come about, and what do you need to know about it? Read on to learn more.
Trainwreck’s background and popularity
Tyler Niknam, famously known as Trainwreck, is one of the most popular Twitch streamers. He launched his Twitch career in 2014 and has become a very successful streamer.
Before Niknam’s Twitch exit, his TrainwrecksTV channel had gained over 2M followers. He also runs a YouTube channel going by the same name and has more than 200,000 subscribers. Trainwreck’s channels have enjoyed millions of views since their first broadcasts.
Niknam’s popularity on the streaming site grew even more when he started live gambling on Stake.com. The well-known streamer broadcasts his gambling escapades, with chance-based games being his primary niche.
Slots were the main games that viewers enjoyed on Niknam’s Twitch channel. They accounted for about 28.5% of the total streamed hours on the channel. So, it’s no surprise that Trainwreck wasn’t happy about Twitch’s new policy update.
But that’s not the only thing Niknam holds against the streaming service. He has been one of the most active critics of Twitch even before the ban. According to Trainwreck, Twitch’s policies have always favored the platform more than content creators.
As most streamers searched the web for the best Twitch alternatives, Trainwreck had other ideas. His solution was to build another platform from scratch and ensure it offered better services than Twitch.
Trainwreck and Kick.com
It’s become apparent that Trainwreck’s project is Kick.com. The main value proposition for the new streaming platform Kick.com is the higher revenue split for creators. The 95-5 creator split offered by Kick stands out as a creator incentive compared to Twitch’s 50/50 split.
The creators of Kick.com aim to provide a favorable streaming space for all content creators. Besides the ban and Twitch’s split policies, Trainwreck has complained several times about the company’s “unfair” policies.
So, one of Niknam’s main agendas is to ensure that content creators understand what they’re getting into. According to his TwitLonger post, Trainwreck stated that the new platform would provide clear guidelines. As such, content creators won’t face indefinite bans.
Kick.com had not updated its terms of service (TOS). However, Trainwreck promised that that would be sorted soon to match the platform’s mission.
The popular Twitch streamer already has a Kick.com channel, which gained over 8,000 followers on the first day. He’s been running test streams on Kick alongside his Twitch streams to check for bugs. The famous Twitch streamer promised to be a non-exclusive broadcaster on Kick, and this could be the start of that journey.
Kick and the casino industry
So far, you must have noticed that Tyler Niknam’s name has appeared in most of Kick’s reports. But is he the sole owner of the platform? Well, not really.
As stated in a Washington Post report, Trainwreck will only play the role of a “non-owner advisor.” Nevertheless, he’s probably going to contribute significantly to the growth and success of Kick.com.
Trainwreck’s involvement in the creation and development of Kick is vital to its success. His influence alone may attract many content creators to the site. Moreover, his experience in the industry means he knows what works and doesn’t work from a streamer’s point of view.
Kick’s ties to the casino industry
One potential concern about Niknam’s new live-streaming platform is its ties to the online casino industry. The platform is connected to Stake.com, a popular crypto-gambling website that Niknam uses on his streams. Ed Craven, an owner of Stake.com, is also an investor in the new platform.
The connection between Kick and Stake is what has raised eyebrows among the onlookers. But this partnership is expected to be revolutionary. It’s probably the first time that a famous crypto-gambling company has taken an active role in developing a streaming platform.
Addressing the skeptics
Many people, especially streamers, within the gambling community received the news about Kick.com with a lot of optimism. However, some are still not convinced that this project will work.
Among those who publicly criticized Kick is the former Twitch director of creator development. Marcus Graham, better known as “DjWheat”, took to Twitter and stated his view about Kick.com.
But why are some people skeptical about the new platform?
1. The negative view on gambling
Gambling has always received backlash from society. Perhaps the main reason is that many platforms don’t adhere to the set rules. These platforms bring more harm than good to society, which is why many people are still skeptical about the new platform.
However, many companies are committed to following the law. For instance, Stake.com, a crypto-betting site, is licensed in many countries renowned for their strict gambling regulations.
Since Stake is in the mix, Kick.com is likely to follow suit. It’s expected to provide a safe environment for creators and viewers. Trainwreck and Stake.com’s experiences in the industry may further help streamline the platform’s operations.
2. Lack of clear names of the owners
Unfortunately, Kick.com doesn’t have clear information about its investors. Since Niknam has shared a lot about the platform, he hasn’t mentioned much about the owners. Most of his posts and interviews have just given hints of who is or could be part of the team.
Curious onlookers and prospective creators have been left guessing names. The Washington Post article mentioned above pointed out that this is one of Marcus Graham’s concerns.
Perhaps the best way to address this issue is for the respective parties to list the main stakeholders. A list will contribute heavily to the platform’s legitimacy.
How is Kick different from other Twitch alternatives?
As mentioned earlier, Twitch has been the most dominant force in the world of live streaming. Many new platforms have launched throughout the years but haven’t matched Twitch’s popularity.
Despite huge investments, most of these streaming services failed to sustain themselves. As a result, some of them went out of business just a few months after launching.
Of course, there’s no one particular reason that explains the failure of these platforms. But one thing is for sure; it has something to do with the number of users they attracted during their inauguration period.
So, what’s Kick.com doing differently to avoid falling into a similar fate?
1. Partnering with Stake.com
Kick’s partnership with the crypto betting giant is something that can’t be ignored. As previously noted, this is probably the first time a renowned gambling company is playing an active role in the process. That’s a significant factor in the overall development of the new live-streaming service.
Given Stake’s popularity among the crypto gambling community, Kick.com enjoys a massive advantage over its counterparts. Stake.com will play a vital part in marketing the streaming platform. Trainwreck’s popularity in the gaming world will also contribute to the same.
Remember, one of the main factors that forced many upcoming platforms out of business is the lack of numbers. To compete with Twitch, one has to build a strong foundation in popularity. The fact that the TrainwrecksTV Kick.com channel gained over 8,000 followers overnight indicates a step in the right direction.
2. Allowing the use of Twitch usernames
Still in the numbers, many people found it challenging to grow their accounts afresh on the new streaming services. For instance, if you already have 10,000 followers on Twitch, it’d be difficult to get the same audience on a new platform.
Trainwreck has also mentioned that as one of the reasons why he can’t entirely stop streaming on Twitch. Maybe he might do a complete transition once Kick.com starts working as desired. However, forfeiting Twitch at this moment might hurt his popularity in the world of streaming.
These are the sentiments of someone who was ranked among the top 10 popular Twitch streamers in 2022. Now you can imagine how difficult a decision that’d be for a regular content creator.
Kick.com will try to tackle this issue from a different angle. If all goes well, this could be the difference between its success and the failure of previous platforms.
According to Trainwreck, users will be allowed to transfer their Twitch usernames to Kick.com. However, users will have to prove that it’s part of their brand. So, one can simply continue building their brand outside Twitch instead of creating a new name from scratch.
This will make it easier for them to transfer their Twitch audience to their new home. Of course, it might be a challenging policy to implement, but it can have a considerable impact on the platform’s success.
3. Offering a fair revenue split
The revenue split is a crucial aspect of any streaming platform. Twitch currently offers a revenue split of 50/50 for all streamers.
Initially, premium streamers kept 70% of the money generated through subscriptions. However, Twitch recently changed its subscription revenue agreement. The 50/50 rule will now apply to all streamers regardless of their audience size.
Kick.com will look to take advantage of these changes to attract more content creators. Streamers will now keep 95% of the money generated through subscriptions. That’s the highest revenue split in the history of live streaming. If this information is anything to go by, then it proves that Kick’s main intention is the welfare of streamers.
The key benefit of Kick’s 95/5 split
Kick.com’s revenue split policy means streamers will earn more per subscription. For instance, if a subscriber pays a USD$5 monthly fee, the streamer will receive USD$4.75, and Kick will keep the remainder.
This revenue policy will give content creators more financial freedom. Streamers will have the motivation to broadcast more content. They’ll also afford high-quality equipment for better streaming, which can improve the experience of viewers.
How Kick.com can impact the live-streaming industry
Kick.com’s terms of service (TOS) and objectives can significantly impact the world of live streaming. Here is how:
1. Forcing others to provide fair policies
Every statement coming out indicates that Kick.com is primarily focused on improving the experience of content creators. This move could be beneficial to all streamers in the long run. Given how competitive the live-streaming industry can be, other players may see it necessary to update their policies accordingly.
Having many streaming platforms offering a favorable streaming environment gives streamers a more comprehensive range of options. Therefore, the introduction of Kick.com could be a game-changer.
2. Popularizing crypto casinos
As mentioned earlier, gambling, in general, has always faced a negative reaction from society. It’s the main reason Twitch updated its policies to protect its users, and rightly so.
Crypto casinos are among the main victims of Twitch’s recent gambling-related policy update. Such moves by streaming services and similar platforms have stunted the popularization of these online casinos.
Since Kick.com is open to supporting licensed gambling sites, this could be the beginning of an era. The platform’s policies are likely to provide a favorable playing ground for companies.
If that happens, then the popularity of crypto casinos in the world of live streaming is likely to increase. But Kick.com is still in its early stages. So, it’d be wise to wait and see how it goes before making any judgment.
Niknam’s new live-streaming platform gives content creators a more favorable revenue split than they currently get on Twitch, positioning it as a strong challenger in the live-streaming space. Though some may have doubts about the platform’s connections to the online casino industry, its promise of higher revenue for creators makes it worth considering as an alternative to Twitch.
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