Content creation is one of the most significant topics on the internet today. It offers a platform for self-expression and online marketing. The most commonly used type of content is blogs and videos, with the latter employed by over 61% of influencers.
Twitch has been very popular among video content creators over the past decade. Many big-name streamers like Trainwreck, Ninja, and xQc began their careers on this live-streaming service.
However, the platform has been under much pressure in the past few months. The site’s revenue split and recent policy changes are why streamers aren’t happy with Twitch.
In October 2022, the platform chose to ban most gambling-related streams. This policy update has forced many content creators to start searching for alternatives as others take part in creating a new service.
Tyler “Trainwreck” Niknam, the famous streamer with millions of followers on Twitch, has bared his plans to establish a new live-streaming platform, which gives content creators a more attractive deal than Twitch offers. The platform, set to launch soon, will entitle creators to a 95-5 revenue split, in contrast to Twitch’s 50-50 split. It will even back the streaming of casino games.
One unique aspect of Kick.com is its connection to the online gambling industry through Stake.com. While Stake.com is not an official investor in Kick.com, its involvement is undeniable. Niknam has confirmed that Eddie Craven, an owner of Stake.com, is also an investor in Kick.com. However, Niknam has emphasized that he will not be directly involved in the ownership of the platform, and will only serve as an adviser.
This article will discuss everything you need to know about Kick.com and its impact on the industry.
Who is Tyler Niknam?
Before covering the details of the new live-streaming platform, it’d be prudent first to discuss one of its leading creators. Tyler Niknam, aka Trainwreck, is among the most famous names associated with Kick.com. He has actively promoted the new streaming site over the past few months.
But what’s his story? Born in 1990, Niknam grew up in Scottsdale, a desert city in Arizona. He attended Chaparral High School and then studied analytic philosophy at Arizona State University.
After graduating in 2014, Tyler Niknam launched his live-streaming career on Twitch. His content at the time revolved mainly around gaming and in-real-life (IRL) videos.
It’s worth noting that Niknam’s Twitch career wasn’t all roses. He received a few bans, with Twitch citing some of the words he uttered during his live-stream sessions.
Nevertheless, he continued to attract many viewers, with one of his significant popularity gains coming in 2020. Niknam started streaming Among Us that year and won USD$5,000 playing the game’s tournament.
Trainwreck later began streaming gambling sessions on Stake.com, a popular crypto-betting site. Since the site isn’t licensed in the United States, Niknam had to move to Canada in June 2021 to continue his gambling streams.
Tyler Niknam hasn’t shied away when it comes to criticizing Twitch’s policies. The platform’s terms of service (TOS) are the main reason he started his current project. In his TwitLonger Post, he states that despite his belief in the platform, Twitch’s recent policy changes have been unfair to content creators.
Niknam has always suggested that he’s planning to create a platform that’ll compete with Twitch. It’s now apparent that one of his proposed projects was Kick.com, a site that looks to take advantage of Twitch’s weaknesses. Of course, it won’t be easy, but it’s started on the right foot, which is all that matters now.
The popular streamer’s Twitch channel, TrainwrecksTV, had gained over 2 million followers before he reduced his activities on the platform. There is also a TrainwrecksTV YouTube channel that has over 200,000 subscribers. His similar Kick.com page gained over 6,000 followers overnight immediately after the launch in 2022.
History of Twitch competitors
Twitch’s original website launched in 2007 but began operating under its current name in 2011. In the past decade, it captured a vast audience base, with millions of people flocking to the site.
However, its recent policy change didn’t augur well for many content creators. This update contributed to the creation of the latest industry entrant. It’s worth noting, though, many potential competitors have joined the mix in the past few years.
Most of them were and are still unable to match Twitch’s popularity. The Amazon-owned streaming service boasts more than 70% of the live-streaming market, with 30 million daily active users.
Perhaps one reason most sites can’t compete with Twitch is its years of operation. As the first live-streaming platform for gamers, it’s already established a name in the industry. It’s become the go-to gaming site for streamers and viewers.
The biggest mistake these prospective competitors made was forcing content creators to start over from scratch. There was no link between the influencers’ new handles and their previous nicknames on Twitch.
As such, they couldn’t transfer the popularity they had built on Twitch to the new platforms. Imagine a content creator who has gained millions of followers being forced to forfeit all that popularity. Furthermore, success on the other side wasn’t guaranteed since the new platforms weren’t popular among viewers.
Kick.com’s plans are somewhat different. Its main agenda is to take maximum advantage of all opportunities presented by Twitch’s current situation. First, it’s brought on board an experienced streamer who’ll offer suggestions from the content creators’ perspective. This move also paints a picture of a platform willing to listen to creator input and prioritize their needs.
Another strategy worth noting is the nickname or username transfer. New Kick.com streamers can use their Twitch usernames to create their accounts. As such, it’s easier for fans to find their favorite creators on the platform. Some of the big names already on the platform are TrainwrecksTV and Drake.
Apart from a famous streamer, Kick.com has also partnered with a popular crypto-betting site, Stake.com. It’s a massive factor in its growth because of Twitch’s recent ban. Many gambling-related content creators were left stranded after the update and are looking for a new home.
Kick.com is looking to attract this lot by supporting gambling activities. The partnership with Stake.com will be vital, as the betting company knows everything about gambling and its legalities.
Benefits of Kick.com for content creators
Many netizens have received the new platform in a positive light so far since its launch. Every stakeholder and onlooker is excited to see how Kick.com will shape the live-streaming industry. What benefits should content creators expect based on recent reports and promotions? Have a look:
- Kick offers a fair revenue split
As mentioned earlier, Kick’s primary strategy is to maximize Twitch’s “weaknesses.” One area where Twitch has certainly faced criticism is its revenue split. The Amazon-owned service offers content creators a 50/50 split.
Remember, Twitch had a “premium streamers” category, which comprised content creators eligible for a 70/30 split. However, the service will change the subscription revenue agreement in mid-2023. Premium creators will receive 70/30 for their first USD$100,000, after which everyone will return to the 50/50 rule.
As expected, many streamers aren’t happy with these changes. The 50/50 split isn’t fair for creators, given that they’re the main stakeholders in the industry. According to Niknam, the 70/30 split was still insufficient despite being reserved for premium streamers.
One of the most significant benefits of Kick.com is the 95/5 revenue split. This is the highest percentage share in live-streaming history, showing Kick’s intentions regarding the streamers’ welfare.
- Streamers enjoy 100% of kicks
Apart from the 95% share from subscription money, streamers will also enjoy 100% of all tips. Whenever content creator receives a “kick” from their fans, they’ll receive the whole amount. This is contrary to what happens on most platforms where the streaming service takes a percentage of the money.
So, how does this revenue-related policy benefit streamers? They can invest in high-quality streaming equipment with the extra money they receive from their sessions. As such, they’ll have all the requirements to create top-notch content that can attract more viewers to the platform.
High income will also motivate creators to stream more. Longer streaming hours mean more audience, which is a win for streamers and the platform.
- Kick supports casino gaming
Gambling has been on the wrong side of societal views for a long time. The rise of unregulated betting sites in recent years amplified this negativity as more people gambled irresponsibly.
Given this trend, you can understand Twitch’s strict policies on any related activities. The Amazon-owned site banned most gambling games, including roulette, dice, and slots, in October 2022. This has led to a massive demand for a platform that’d cater to the needs of all streamers left stranded following the policy update.
Therefore, the timing of Kick’s entry couldn’t be better. According to Trainwreck’s Washington Post interview, Ed Craven, Stake.com’s owner, is among the leading creators of the new platform. That means Kick.com will support gambling, and Stake.com will be a big player.
Kick’s decision to bring Stake.com on board is crucial, as it’ll help build the site’s reputation among gamblers. Stake.com has been in the industry for more than five years, so stakeholders understand how to overcome most hurdles.
The streaming service has already attracted thousands of content creators across the globe. Famous streamers, including Drake, have started streaming their gambling escapades just like they did on Twitch. More streamers are expected to join the mix throughout the following year.
- There are no unexplained bans
Many content creators have complained about how Twitch treats their cases. Unfortunately, Twitch isn’t the only platform giving its streamers indefinite bans. This can be very demotivating and inconvenient for streamers.
Kick.com is planning to eliminate such cases by making its terms of service (TOS) as straightforward as possible. So, streamers will know why they’re being banned and try to avoid falling into the same situation in the future.
What are the potential concerns?
Although positivity has met Kick’s entry, some people feel otherwise. There are several concerns about the legitimacy and legality of the site. So, what are the skeptics saying? Here are a few factors worth addressing:
- Kick’s connection to Stake.com
Ed Craven’s presence on the list of Kick’s owners means the platform has ties with Stake.com. Stake is one of the biggest crypto-betting sites across the globe. Given how society views gambling, you can understand why many onlookers are concerned about the new streaming service.
It’s important to note, though, that most gambling sites are licensed and regulated in various jurisdictions. Stake.com is one of them, and it’s permitted to operate in many countries, including the United Kingdom.
Hence, Stake operates within the law. Since all regulations are designed to protect you as the consumer, associating yourself with a licensed site spares you from a lot of gambling-related trouble.
But why is this information relevant to the Kick-Stake partnership? First, it means that despite being supported, all gambling activities on the platform will still be regulated. Additionally, working with an experienced betting partner will enhance Kick’s adaptation to any changes within the industry.
- Insufficient information about ownership
Ownership is one area that Kick.com still keeps private to some extent. Because Niknam hasn’t mentioned much about this topic during his interviews and on social media, no one really knows who the main owners of the platform are.
Ed Craven is one of the names thrown around whenever Kick.com is discussed. Trainwreck is another associate, but he’s made it clear that he’ll be an advisor.
This factor can have huge repercussions on Kick’s growing brand. The best way to address it is to provide an up-to-date list of all owners. A list allows potential streamers to learn about the company before deciding to create their content on the platform.
How Kick.com can disrupt the live-streaming landscape
As mentioned earlier, Kick.com is using a different strategy from what most of the previous Twitch competitors use. The following are pieces of Kick’s plan that might disrupt the live-streaming industry.
- Policy changes: Niknam has stated many times that terms of service (T0S) that policies in most streaming platforms aren’t fair to streamers. Kick’s new plan is to give content creators 95% of revenue collected. This may force other sites to also make similar changes to attract streamers and viewers.
- Popularization of crypto betting: The partnership between Stake and Kick may enhance the popularization of crypto gambling. A combination of Stake’s experience and technological advancements in the industry can come in handy. In the long run, more people will likely start betting on digital coins.
What makes the new live-streaming platform of Niknam different from other platforms is its enticing deal that content creators don’t get on Twitch. Another highlight is its strong support for casino game streaming. With all the benefits it offers creators and how it’s got what it takes to stand up to Twitch’s dominance, Kick.com is worth checking out.