Live streaming became popular in the mid-2000s when technological advancement started peaking. Justin.tv, currently known as Twitch, was among the first mainstream platforms in the industry.
The rise of social media in the early 2010s further enhanced the growth of the live-streaming community. YouTube has been a significant player in the industry, allowing users to broadcast real-time video content.
Today, Twitch is the biggest streaming platform, thanks to contributions from some of the most popular streamers. However, Trainwreck and his fellow content creators have expressed concerns about the Amazon-owned platform.
According to most critics, Twitch’s recent policy changes were ill-advised. The most significant update came a few months ago. In October 2022, Twitch banned gambling streams, leaving a significant gap in the streaming industry.
That gap has been filled by Kick, a new streaming platform that offers a more favorable revenue split and unambiguous terms of service for content creators.
Many top streamers have flocked to Kick in the wake of the Twitch gambling ban, taking advantage of the platform’s lenient policies and attractive features.
Following the gambling ban on Twitch, Roshtein and Trainwreckstv, two of the biggest names in streaming, have shifted their focus to Kick to stream slot games with their affiliation with online casino Stake.com.
This article will discuss the impact of Twitch’s ban and the potential of its latest competitor, Kick.com.
The impact of Twitch’s ban
Twitch announced in September 2022 over a Twitter post that it’d prohibit gambling. According to the Amazon subsidiary, previous measures against sharing referral codes weren’t effective as people circumvented those rules.
The update was implemented in October 2022. The primary victims were gambling sites unlicensed in countries like the US, which includes Stake.com. This was a big blow to the streaming community, given that many streamers are affiliated with such sites.
Trainwreck, Roshtein, and xQc were among the top streamers affected by the new update. The three are best known for streaming casino games offered on Stake.com. So, you can understand why they’re all against the new policy.
Kick is filling the gap
xQc, who has over 12 million followers on Twitch, was one of the most vocal critics of Twitch’s gambling ban, calling critics hypocrites in the wake of the policy changes.
Whilst xQc is still hesitant to join the new platform, other top streamers like Roshtein have hit the ground running though not without controversy, with accusations of ‘viewbotting’ lobbied against the streamer inflating viewer figures.
Some onlookers are concerned about the discrepancy in Rosh’s viewership on Twitch and Kick.com. According to them, the number of viewers on Kick seems inflated when he goes live on both platforms simultaneously.
Trainwreck recently admitted to the existence of viewbotters on Kick.com. Although he didn’t mention names, the popular streamer is committed to dealing with the menace. Trainwreck stated in his stream that his biggest concern is that viewbotters use the platform to promote a “predatory gambling” style.
Kick.com is still a work in progress and may take time to perfect all areas. Nevertheless, the new entrant has already made a mark in the live-streaming industry. It was introduced towards the end of 2022 to fill the gap left by Twitch, and it’s done tremendously so far.
The Trainwreck-backed site attracted more than 1 million users within its first two months. Many analysts attribute this rapid growth in popularity to the site’s lenient policies. Its features have also attracted content creators and viewers across the globe.
Which top streamers are on Kick.com?
Trainwreck began his campaign to create an alternative platform several months before Twitch’s update. Twitch struggled to balance between increasing streamer income and the company’s profits.
Although this makes sense business-wise, many streamers felt that the management focused more on profits than on creators’ welfare. This was evident during the annual gathering in October 2022.
Most content creators who attended the latest TwitchCon were dissatisfied with the proposed revenue cut. But despite expressing their views, there is no indication that those policies could change. As such, many streamers have flocked to Kick.com as they seek greener pastures.
Here are some big names you’ll find on the new platform:
Trainwreckstv is Trainwreck’s official channel on all streaming platforms, including Twitch, YouTube, and now Kick.com. Tyler Niknam created this brand in 2015 when he began streaming on Twitch and YouTube.
Despite having 2.1 million followers on Twitch, Niknam wasn’t satisfied with Twitch’s policies. The ban on gambling proved to be the final nail in the coffin, with the streamer accelerating his new-platform project.
It wasn’t until late 2022 that people knew about his involvement with creating Kick.com. A few weeks later, the platform went live, and Trainwreck was the first to develop his Trainwreckstv channel. He currently has more than 77,000 followers, and the numbers keep rising.
The 22-year-old joined the list of Twitch streamers in 2019. His Twitch channel has grown massively in the past few years, gaining more than 7 million followers and over 50 million total views.
Slots have the second-highest number of maximum viewers on AdinRoss Twitch channel. It’s also worth noting that Adin Ross is affiliated with Stake.com. That explains why the streamer was among those that felt the pinch after Twitch’s update.
After weeks of speculations, Adin Ross signed a deal with Kick.com. Many have found how similar the move is with LeBron James joining the Heat. LeBron’s TV special aired on ESPN was titled “The Decision.” Adin Ross’ announcement of his move from the purple platform was also titled the same name.
The popular streamer has gained more than 117,000 followers within a few months on Kick. It’s proof that Kick.com is quickly gaining popularity, and more viewers are joining the platform.
Roshtein is another famous Twitch streamer that has already created a channel on Kick.com. The content creator’s history in the live-streaming industry dates back to 2015.
Rosh’s influence has grown over the years, and he brought the same effect to Kick.com. He currently boasts an audience of over 56,000 followers. The streamer’s profile on the new platform reads, “we’re just getting started,” which should excite his loyal fans.
The Canadian Rapper has been one of the most active Stake.com influencers over the past year. After several months of speculations, Drake signed a deal with the crypto-betting company early in 2022.
The Drake-Stake agreement included the rap star streaming Stake’s casino games on Twitch. Within a few months, Drake had attracted thousands of followers, with the games broadcast being slots.
Following Twitch’s gambling ban, the rap music superstar joined Kick.com in December 2022. He hosted Roshtein in his first stream, which featured a quick Q&A session and Drake playing his favorite casino games.
What are the benefits of Kick.com?
The names mentioned above are part of many content creators attracted to Kick.com. But why are streamers moving to the newly launched website?
The following features of Kick explain this rapid shift:
The 95/5 revenue split
Streamers’ income is a crucial factor in any live-streaming company. Remember, creators contribute a lot to the success of these platforms. The work they put into their content and the hours spent in front of the camera are worth reasonable compensation.
However, many platforms still provide a 50/50 revenue split. Despite all the work, streamers share the same amount of subscription money with the platform. This factor is among the leading complaints aired against Twitch over the years.
Worse, Twitch plans to eliminate the “premium partners” category. Initially, this group of streamers received 70% of the money instead of 50%. But a recent Twitch revenue update indicates that the company plans to cut that split to 50/50 like the rest of the creators.
Premium creators will still enjoy the current split until June 2023. The 70/30 policy will then apply for the first USD$100,000 earned, after which the 50/50 split will apply to everyone. Trainwreck and other streamers believe this policy isn’t fair to all creators.
Kick.com noted these complaints and decided to leverage the opportunity. The newly launched platform offers a 95/5 revenue split to increase the streamers’ income.
According to Niknam, an active player in the platform’s development, the remaining 5% is enough to run Kick.com. Of course, many critics suggest that this isn’t a game-changing move, but most content creators disagree. If anything, it shows Kick’s commitment to improving the welfare of its users.
Streamers will receive all kicks
The revenue split isn’t the only factor causing a rift between streamers and streaming companies. There is also the issue of donations, which Kick plans to solve.
Content creators receive tips from their viewers during live sessions. However, most streaming platforms don’t send all the donations to the creators’ accounts. Instead, they keep a small percentage for the site’s maintenance.
Kick is taking a different approach. The new Twitch competitor will send 100% of the tips or kicks to streamers. So, if you receive USD$1,000 during a stream, you’ll keep all of it.
It’s good news for all streamers, as it means they’ll earn more. They can reinvest the money into their channel by purchasing better equipment and developing their streaming environment. At the end of the day, Kick.com and the viewers will also benefit from this move.
Another advantage of Kick.com is its lenient policies, especially towards casino games. The platform supports gambling streams, but the users must abide by the rules. Its unofficial partnership with Stake.com, a crypto sports betting company, probably contributed to Kick’s pro-gambling policies.
Twitch banned most gambling activities, including those related to Stake.com, in 2022. So, it’s understandable why many gambling content creators are moving to the new platform.
But no one expected the shift to be swift. Kick has surpassed expectations, reaching 1 million registered users just 69 days after its launch. That number is still rising, and this year could be vital in Kick’s mission to compete with Twitch.
The Trainwreck-backed platform also promised to offer clear policies and avoid ambiguous banning. Twitch has been on the spot several times for suspending streamers. Although most punishments were deserved, other creators were caught off guard, as they didn’t know what mistakes they had made.
Kick plans to solve this problem by ensuring clear rules and regulations. This way, there will be fewer cases of unexpected bans. Streamers will also find themselves on the right side of the law as they understand most, if not all, the policies.
Major concerns surrounding Kick
Kick’s life in the live-streaming industry hasn’t been short of controversies. The newly launched platform has been at the receiving end of many criticisms. Some of the concerns aired by onlookers include:
Similar user interface (UI) to Twitch’s
Fans quickly pointed out similarities between Kick’s UI and that of the purple platform. Of course, Kick’s idea here was to make it easier for users to switch from Twitch to the new site. With a Twitch-like layout, streamers and viewers won’t struggle to adapt to the new environment.
Lack of strict censorship
Another flaw that viewers noted during the first days was ineffective censorship policies. Although leniency is part of Kick’s strategies, it may need to up its game to avoid illegal broadcasting. Some users streamed adult or copyrighted content, and fans complained on social media.
Such issues are always expected in the initial days of operation. Kick will definitely improve its policies to curb illegal broadcasting without necessarily changing its original mission.
But despite all the flaws pointed out by the fans, Kick’s user base is still growing fast. This just shows that there has always been a need for Twitch alternatives in the market.
Unclear ownership details
One of the biggest concerns aired by the critics is Kick’s lack of a clear ownership list. Trainwreck’s position in the management is unknown. However, the streamer has stated several times that he isn’t one of the owners. Instead, he plays the role of an advisor.
If that’s the case, then who are the owners of Kick.com? Of course, Eddie Craven is another name that’s come up several times. But there is no official communication on his and Stake’s role in the creation and management of Kick.com.
It’d be prudent for Kick to publish a detailed list of its users. This will help continue building the company’s reputation.
The Twitch gambling ban may have created a market gap, but Kick has proven to be a viable alternative for both streamers and viewers. The platform’s favorable revenue split, clear terms of service, and lenient policies have attracted many top streamers, with more likely to follow. As Kick continues to grow and establish itself as a competitor to Twitch, it will be interesting to see how the streaming industry evolves in the coming years.
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