There’s been a lot of competition in the livestreaming space during the past decade, and the latest challenger to the throne is Kick. But what is Kick, exactly, and how does it compare to the reigning king, Amazon’s Twitch?
What is Kick?
While still in beta, Kick is pretty explicitly designed as a Twitch rival. The service was founded in December 2022, and likewise lets viewers tune into livestreams based on personal interests or followed/highlighted streamers. Its emphasis is on being more friendly to streamers, thanks to looser moderation rules and a better revenue split. You can watch on the web, Android, or iPhone/iPad.
Kick vs Twitch: How do they compare?
Visually and functionally, the two services are extremely similar. That includes things like menus, color schemes, category browsing, and chat functions. A long-time Twitch user should have no trouble switching services if a favorite streamer makes the leap.
More significant is what’s happening behind the scenes. Kick streamers get to claim 95% of revenue, which can make it far more appealing than the 50% offered by Twitch or even the 70% from YouTube. Kick additionally offers streamers 100% from donations, and same-day payouts.
The service’s content rules are also less strict. Gambling material is more prominent, and there’s even a “Pools, Hot Tubs and Bikinis” category similar to a toned-down OnlyFans. Parents need to keep a close eye on what their children are watching, in other words. Even white nationalists have tried to exploit the platform, though Kick has been rapidly expanding its moderation team with a goal to hit 200 people by the end of 2023.
That said there remains a strong focus on games like Fortnite and Minecraft, as well as things like chat, music, and watch parties. While Kick is definitely more adult-oriented, you can have perfectly innocent fun if you’re searching for it.
To date, Kick has far fewer viewers than Twitch, but its owners have successfully lured famous streamers like Hikaru Nakamura, Tyler “Trainwreck” Niknam, and Kaitlyn “Amouranth” Siragusa. It remains to be seen if their large fanbase will translate into a bigger overall audience, which Kick will certainly need to generate enough income.
That’s harder to answer than you might expect. The key backer appears to be Stake.com, a crypto gambling site that sponsored Trainwreck’s stream on Twitch before it was ejected from that platform. Another party involved is Easygo, an Australian startup.
Yes, there are apps for Android and iPhone/iPad if you don’t want to watch on the web.
Yes, although there are relatively few. The only major partner at the moment is luxury car maker Alfa Romeo, which has the names of Kick and Stake.com on its F1 racing team. So far there are no plans for pre-roll ads or in-stream banners, the idea being that advertisers can partner directly with streamers.