Disrupting The Norm With Kick

Disrupting The Norm With Kick
Photo by Jametlene Reskp / Unsplash

It’s only been several months since the new streaming service known as Kick came onto the scene and already since, we’ve seen so much from Kick. Proclaiming an impossibly high sub split that really no other streaming service comes close to. There were controversies happening as more streamers came on board trying to push the envelope in which they couldn’t before over on Twitch. Already there’s a large amount of people you’ve already been on Kick within this short amount of time, while on other platforms the numbers were much lower. 

Let's take a look at what is the basis of Kick. There are many people who do not understand what the infrastructure that powers Kick is. Amazon IVS is the power behind Twitch is the sole reason for which Amazon bought Twitch back in 2014 for the low cost of $970 million in cash. The technology that powered Twitch’s growth to that point was something that was very revolutionary for the time. Back in 2014 Twitch was accounting for 2% of all traffic in the U.S. according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. It was interesting that even almost a decade ago, Google was worried that by acquiring Twitch, it would raise antitrust issues. So when Kick came to be it was on the back of the same infrastructure powering Twitch which Amazon sells to outside companies. When people first saw the Kick website they immediately thought Kick had used stolen code. Unfortunately many still believe in this and continue the fallacy. 

Kick has the backing of the crypto gambling site Stake.com which already has an air of controversies attached to its name. Previously many streamers on Twitch, who were sponsored by Stake, would spend countless hours within the Slots & Casino category. Garnering thousands of views and followers who would be swayed by these streamers ability to spin and spin, making millions of dollars which behind the scenes were given house credits by their sponsor. The controversy was that this was in a sense, unregulated gambling. Stake had their sites based in countries that didn’t regulate crypto gambling and for that Twitch made it against their terms of service to use Stake websites and to promote Stake promotions on Twitch. Already the wheels were in motion that it would probably be in their best interest to make a site that they would have full control of, without any of those pesky oversight from Twitch. 

So after the doors were opened and streamers came over to test out the waters on Kick, many saw that the site had many glaring issues. There wasn't a privacy policy, terms of service, and a page for how Kick would handle DMCA. Live streamers instantly were weary in how not only their information would be used but their viewers information as well. It was weeks later that these missing pages were added, something that would be in place even before the site should have been opened to the public. There wasn’t even a procedure for users to report content on the site in which there were many channels showing porn videos. You would have to collect the channel links of each and every channel and send an email to Kick’s support email address. It was a wild time during the first month or two and people were pushing content as far as they could. 

A few large live streamers made their way over as they felt Twitch being overly oppressive against them. Of course, emboldened by Kick’s stance of being more open on free speech, these streamers were fully on board with Kick. Promotions of other large streamers signing non-exclusive contracts to Kick also brought more eyes to how the service was becoming a true competitor to Twitch. With the investment from Stake shareholders and the recent advertising with F1 Racing, Kick was quickly garnering the public's attention. Currently there are over 100 thousand viewers watching content on Kick with a growing number of streamers checking out the site or spending a growing number of days streaming to Kick. This isn’t to say that Kick is beating Twitch as the gulf between the two sites is quite vast. It provides a market for what is a large number of streamers who feel that their content isn’t able to be shown on Twitch. We’ve seen other sites try to break into this market with success in their own way. Of course for those their backing is much smaller insofar that their growth is lower than the likes of Kick. Spurned on by the marketing and from the large streamers enjoying the much larger sub split, the lack of ads interrupting the viewer experience for now and for many saying that the user experience of the site is better. Kick is bringing some competition to Twitch in some way or another. 

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