While Twitch may still be having some issues with discoverability, monetization, and moderation, it is still the top platform for live-streaming. Lately, YouTube has been stealing a lot of their bigger creators with more lucrative deals and more freedom. However, in the past few months, a new competitor has snaked its way onto the scene and a lot of smaller creators have taken notice.
Of course, that competitor is Kick. Kick is a live streaming platform backed by Stake.com co-founders Bijan Tehrani, Ed Craven and Tyler Farad Niknam (aka Trainwreckstv). It appears that Kick was kind of born out of Stake.com’s ban from Twitch along with other gambling sites.
It seemingly came out of nowhere, but when it showed up, a lot of big names in the streaming community came up with it. They have not been shy in spending money to get some pretty big names to join. They’ve brought in people like Felix Lengyel (xQc), Kaitlyn Siracusa (Amouranth), and now Nick Kolcheff (Nickmercs).
When it comes to smaller creators, it isn’t hard to see why they would come over to Kick. They promise a 95/5 subscription revenue split. I’m not sure if this for everyone or certain folks, but it is a better split than what Twitch offers.
Another thing creators might find attractive about the platform is their laissez faire attitude to what’s on the platform. The big names mentioned above have all run afoul of Twitch’s policies before. Kick is even the home to Adin Ross, known to be chummy with white supremacists and is just an all around bigot. So, with names like this, it looks to be the “free speech” platform some folks were looking for.
There do appear to be some changes happening and some lines that can be crossed. Users have been temporarily banned for streaming lewd acts. Someone was banned for streaming a hidden camera conversation with a sex worker. A couple of weeks ago, Kick did finally add a report button on their video player.
There have also been security problems on their website, as well. There have been reports of issues with how the site interacts with cookies that could allow you to impersonate other people on the site.
And in case you are wondering, according to the person who found the vulnerabilities in the first place, as of August 3, little work has been done to resolve the issue. It also states that neither Stake nor Kick make it easy to report these vulnerabilities and would rather just sweep them under the rug.
It is unfortunate that a site positioning itself as the next Twitch killer (as much as we may need one) doesn’t really care about the safety and security of its users. Whether it’s toxic individuals using the platform on stream or in chat or the actual bad actors waiting to exploit users, this isn’t a good look for people.
I’m not here to tell you one is better than the other. I just want to make sure people make informed decisions on where you take your communities to. Especially if you’re just trying to secure a bag.