This new streaming platform, Kick, has already drawn the attention of the streaming world. A number of high-profile streamers have deals with the site, and the number of streamers as well as view counts, continue to rise. Considering Kick functions very much like Twitch while offering higher monetary incentives and less moderation, this isn’t surprising.
Everything isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, however. Reports that Kick is closely connected to and funded by an online casino have some people concerned. The rise in Kick streamers with gambling content has contributed in large part to the site’s growth, raising eyebrows in the streaming community.
Below we’re going to get into the specifics of all of this and more, from why some of the biggest names in streaming have chosen Kick over Twitch to the main differences between the two streaming platforms. So, let’s get into it: Kick vs Twitch.
Twitch is the largest and most well-known platform in the live-streaming industry. With over a decade of hosting gamers and content creators, Twitch is incredibly well-established as the go-to for streamers. Add in the fact that it is an Amazon-owned platform, and you get a powerhouse that shows no signs of slowing down.
Launched in 2011, Twitch quickly rose in popularity and helped launch the careers of many creators. Over the years, a host of third-party applications like overlays, plugins, and streaming software has effectively helped create a full industry surrounding streaming on Twitch.
Of course, massive popularity comes with stipulations. In the early days of Twitch, streamers were able to engage with their audience in ways that are definitely not allowed today. Twitch has created a set of community guidelines that enforce certain content limitations and regulations that ensure a safe and welcoming environment for everyone.
Content on Twitch
While there have always been rules for streaming on Twitch, the most recent community guidelines really define the philosophy surrounding what Twitch wants on its platform. Their intro statement reads:
“Safety is the foundation beneath streamers, moderators, and everyone in the chat.”
Due to the diversity of Twitch streamers and viewers alike, the guidelines are designed to accommodate the largest amount of users possible. This means having strict rules regarding what topics, content, and language are allowed.
One of the most important details of the guidelines is that Twitch has developed customizable tools for streamers to create specific rulesets for their individual channels. These tools allow streamers to manage language settings, how viewers can share links,
Morality, age, and a number of other factors go into what is regarded as a bannable offense. Unacceptable behavior includes, but is not limited to:
- Self-destructive behavior
- Sexual exploitation and other sexual activities
- Hateful conduct like hate speech and harassment
- Any illegal activity
- Certain gambling, including dice games and roulette
- Copyrighted material
These rules apply to both streamers and viewers to ensure the user experience on the platform is a positive one.
Kick streaming launched in January of 2023 as a direct competitor to Twitch. In any industry, a new platform typically takes a while to really get going, but Kick very quickly offered a lucrative deal to a number of popular streamers that helped boost the site’s user base. A few of the big names include xQc, Amouranth, Adin Ross, Hikaru Nakamura, and many others.
These streamers, and many others, find the ideology behind Kick much more appropriate for their streaming style. While Kick does have a set of guidelines that creators and other users must abide by, there is a bigger focus on free speech and freedom of content creators are allowed to broadcast compared to Twitch.
Another persuasive difference is the revenue split offered by Kick. Money from ads and subscription revenue is paid out at a 95/5 split, meaning more money goes to creators than on Twitch or YouTube. Also, unlike many other platforms, Kick offers same-day payouts in the form of cryptocurrency. For many creators, especially smaller streamers, the revenue split is an incredibly attractive benefit for streaming on Kick.
Kick offers a very similar selection of streams as Twitch, including gaming, just chatting, music, and others. The big difference is the types of gambling users are allowed to stream. Twitch allows online poker, sports betting, and other innocuous gambling types, while Kick is much more lax.
Content on Kick: The Concerns
The two biggest issues some people have with content on Kick centers around the fact that the site is less moderated than other streaming platforms. Of course, the rules and regulations include some similar guidelines to Twitch, such as no hate speech, harassment, abuse, and other illegal activities.
One example that would probably result in being banned on Twitch is when Adin Ross watched the Super Bowl live on stream. Other examples include similarly questionable content, including gambling streams and some talk show-style streams with possibly inflammatory topics.
While a streamer can get into trouble by breaking the established rules, the point of the site, stated by co-founder Ed Craven is to make sure Kick is a more creator-friendly platform, saying that large, medium, and small content creators can rediscover themselves on Kick.
Kick’s Funding and Its Implications
Most new businesses take a while to really get going, with many taking quite some time to turn a profit. Kick, however, in less than a year since its launch, was confident enough to offer some of the biggest names in streaming some very lucrative deals. Some of which were in the area of $100 million.
Where did this kind of funding come from? Reports indicate that Kick has close ties to an online gambling site called Stake. The co-founders of Stake are the sole shareholders in the company that effectively owns Kick.
So, though there is no direct evidence, it seems likely that the Stake owners, Ed Craven, and Bijan Tehrani, are heavily invested in Kick. With the fact that Kick was established to allow streamers the ability to stream gambling that is banned on Twitch, a person may conclude that the purpose of the site is to promote gambling streams.
Growing Fast: Kick’s Popularity
Given that Kick launched at the beginning other 2023, the user base has grown significantly due to the high-profile streamers that have jumped ship from Twitch. This, along with the recent release of their mobile app, has caused viewer base on Kick to skyrocket.
Streamers like Adin Ross and xQc have around 500k followers each and over 3 million combined hours watched in the past week alone.
At the moment, it looks like Kick will be able to compete with Twitch in the long term if this level of growth continues.
User Experience: Comparing Twitch and Kick
For streamers, slightly less moderation and a smaller pool of competition may be beneficial to growing a community. With more freedom and the ability to make a name for themselves,
Popular streamer xQc, who averages over 35k viewers daily, said in a statement regarding his move to the new platform, “Kick is allowing me to try and do things I haven’t been able to before.”
As Kick continues to grow, smaller streamers may find that building a community may be easier than on other sites, where they may be lost in the volume of streams available. And with the higher revenue split, making money as a small stream can be a lot easier.
For viewers, Kick will feel very similar to Twitch. While there are obviously fewer streams to choose from currently, this isn’t always a bad thing. With fewer channels, users may have an easier time finding a streamer they can connect with.
In July of 2023, Kick rolled out new functionality that would allow users who are not interested in seeing gambling streams to hide the content from view. They are aware that not everyone is okay with gambling and want to offer a way to make the site more user-friendly.
Which Platform is Better for Creators?
As stated above, the main differences between Kick and Twitch lie in the allowed content and, importantly, the pay. So, which one is better? The question is hard to answer as both sites have their positives and negatives.
Twitch is well-established and backed by a rather large, trusted global corporation. However, the 50/50 revenue split and oversaturation of channels may not be attractive to some people.
Kick, on the other hand, offers a bit more freedom and higher pay rates while (currently) having a slightly more dubious foundation.
The choice is really up to the individual and what they are looking for.
As you can see, the choice of whether to join Kick or Twitch isn’t completely cut and dry. If you don’t mind supporting a site that promotes gambling, then Kick may not seem like a bad option. Similarly, if reports of the way Amazon has treated their workers aren’t an issue, Twitch may be the place for you.
If you want to find out for yourself, you can easily jump into some streams of your favorite games or start your own broadcast and see where it takes you.