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Twitch has been steadily losing gambling viewership since it started banning certain streams on its platform. Now, it appears that company policy is driving more traffic to an alternative platform.
According to NBC News, Kick is becoming a serious competitor to Twitch. This isn’t just in the gambling streaming sphere but in the general market. Recent Twitch policy changes are forcing some content providers to move to the alternative platform in exchange for more favourable financial terms.
NBC News released a report on Thursday discussing the recent shift in the livestreaming industry. It appears that many live-streamers are now beginning to move over to the alternative platform Kick due to policies instituted by Twitch.
Twitch has long had a monetisation program that saw live-streamers receive a 50/50 split of subscription revenue. However, some more popular providers have been able to negotiate better terms, often a 70/30 split.
However, Twitch recently announced that they will be discontinuing the 70/30 splits of those streamers, opting to make all contracts a 50/50 split. Twitch President Dan Clancy states that the new policy will benefit streamers as it will reduce costs for the platform.
Where are the streamers going? They are largely heading over to Kick, an alternative platform that boasts more lenient moderation policies. The platform also allows live streams of gambling content, which appeals to former Twitch streamers who had to discontinue certain content broadcasts.
Kick is a relatively new live-streaming platform launched eight months ago. The platform is backed by Stake.com co-founders Bijan Tehrani and Ed Craven. On the surface, Kick looks like a clone of Twitch. However, a significant difference is powering the exodus to Kick.
Kick offers streamers a 95/5 split on revenue. That’s .95 of every $1 that goes into the platform is going to content creators. Kick calls this a “simple back-of-napkin match for any serious Twitch Creator tired of handing over 50% of their subscription dollars to Twitch.”
Kick recently made headlines for signing popular streamer Felxi “xQc” Lengyel to a two-year contract worth $100 million. In a statement, Lengyel said, “Kick is allowing me to try and do things I haven’t been able to before. I’m extremely excited to take this opportunity and maximize it into new creative and fresh ideas over coming years.”
However, some still are expressing concerns over Kick, primarily due to its support of gambling.
While some streamers are praising the rise of Kick, others are expressing concerns over the site’s gambling ties. Former Twitch Director of Creator Development Marcus “djWheat” Graham took to X to express his concerns.
Graham posted, “There are so many red flags present that it is embarrassing watching people who I respect give this platform an ounce of credibility.” UCLA Gambling Studies Program co-director Dr. Timothy Fong believes that the lack of transparency from Kick surrounding gambling content may be risky.
Fong states, “They don’t call themselves a gaming company, and they’re not a gambling company. It looks like YouTube, but it also looks like PlayStation 5, but it also looks like Las Vegas.”
According to a Kick spokesperson, “Kick has heard the call against gambling and we created a toggle feature found on any user’s dashboard that allows you to remove all gambling content from your Kick experience.”
The platform has subcategories for “Slots and Casinos,” and that information is displayed on the website’s front page. Ed Craven told users recently that the platform will be removing “some unnecessary exposure” to some gambling content, but it is unclear what that entails.
Ultimately, there remains a market for gambling streaming despite the outcries from some detractors. Kick is providing a platform for content creators who feel shunned by Twitch. It is up to viewers to decide their level of exposure to gambling and make the appropriate choices for their stream viewing.