The rapid growth and popularity of a brand new streaming site brings up some fairly interesting questions, the most important probably being “Who owns kick streaming?”.
This may not seem like a huge deal on the surface, but the site has faced criticism because of connections to Stake, an online crypto-gambling site. These concerns are furthered by the favorable policies regarding gambling streams on Kick.
A few high-profile streamers don’t seem bothered by this. xQc, Amouranth, Adin Ross, Hikaru Nakmura, and others have already signed deals with Kick, and going forward we are sure to see many more.
Origin of Kick.com
In just less than a year, Kick went from not existing to signing some of the biggest names in streaming. How does a brand-new company achieve that kind of success? The answer is usually money, and with Kick that seems to be the case.
The Kick streaming site was founded in December of 2022. The legal entity required for registration as a company in Australia is Kick Streaming PTY LTD, established in November of 2022. Just a few months prior, a company by the name of Easygo Entertainment PTY LTD was registered and has been found to be the sole shareholder of Kick streaming.
Further down the rabbit hole, we find that another company, named Ashwood Holdings PTY LTD, owns one-third of Easygo Entertainment PTY LTD. Ashwood Holdings is wholly owned by Australian billionaire and Stake co-founder Ed Craven. The other two-thirds? Owned by Stake’s other co-founder, Bijan Tehrani.
So, while Kick is not directly owned or affiliated with the people who co-founded Stake, records indicate that they are the majority shareholders of the company that owns the streaming site.
The Twitch Gambling Ban
While we cannot say that Stake owns Kick directly, there are more connections to Kick and the promotion of gambling streaming.
One of the first big streamers to endorse Kick was Tyler Niknam, who streams under the name Trainwreck. Niknam was one of the most prominent gambling streamers on Twitch until their gambling stream ban in November 2022. Stake was among the gambling sites given a direct ban.
(Other online casinos were also banned, however, Twitch has decided to allow sports betting, poker, and fantasy sports as viable stream content.)
When Kick launched, Niknam was quick to jump on the site to continue with his gambling content, and some have said that he has since become a nonowner advisor for Kick.
With Kick being touted as a streaming service meant to directly compete with Twitch, as well as allowing gambling streams, signs point to Kick being designed as an alternative for streamers who want to host gambling content on their channel.
Benefits of Streaming on Kick.com
So, why join Kick? With other well-established streaming service options out there, what makes Kick better?
There are two main reasons that streamers find attractive about Kick. One is that the content allowed on the streaming site is a bit less moderated. xQc, one of the largest streamers on Twitch, even made a statement claiming that “Kick is allowing me to try and do things I haven’t been able to before.” He recently made a $100 million dollar deal with Kick to stream on their site.
The second, and probably more important to most streamers, is the revenue split offered by Kick. Twitch has a 50/50 split for most streamers, and YouTube Live has a 70/30 split. Kick, on the other hand, has a 95/5 split.
This is an incredibly high revenue split, especially for a smaller streamer. Effectively earning almost double the amount they would from Twitch means that they can turn streaming into a full-time job much easier. More money means more time and resources to create amazing content for their fans and viewers. This in turn can lead to even more subscription revenue and even better content for their growing audience.
Of course, less moderation and rules do not mean Kick is an “anything goes” type of website. Illegal activities, hate speech, as well as breaking one of the many stipulations about gambling will result in being banned.
What Does Kick’s Ownership Mean for Streamers?
What it comes down to is the question “why does it matter?”. Gambling exists as just another topic under the browse section of the site. If you don’t like that content, you don’t have to look at it. All the other popular topics are there, from gaming to just chatting.
However, while gambling may not effect the majority of content creation on Kick, the fact stands that many creators may not feel comfortable building a streaming career on a site with such close ties to a high stakes crypto casino. So, even though all they are doing is sitting down to play a game or chat with viewers, there can be a moral decision to not support gambling.
There are a lot of opinions regarding gambling content online. Many feel that things like slots and other online casinos are dodgy and not to be trusted, with a number of countries having banned sites that offer online gambling.
Even so, with the effort to get Kick running as a functional streaming alternative, as well as the millions that have spent to entice big streamers, it seems that Kick really does want to be a site for creators. Decent payouts and the ability to build your stream the way you want to, free from many of the restrictions you find on Twitch, seems like a pretty good deal.