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What is Kick, the new platform Amouranth and xQc are streaming on?

Kick offered xQc a $100M deal

Several stylized K’s, some electronic-looking, piled on a black screen Image: Kick
Nicole Carpenter is a senior reporter specializing in investigative features about labor issues in the game industry, as well as the business and culture of games.

Two of Twitch’s biggest stars — Félix “xQc” Lengyel and Kaitlyn “Amouranth” Siragusa — are moving off the Amazon-owned platform and onto newcomer Kick. Kick, which calls itself a “creator-friendly” platform, offered Lengyel a $100 million deal. Siragusa’s contract details have not been disclosed, but as one of Twitch’s most popular streamers, she’s surely getting a major contract.

Lengyel and Siragusa join the likes of Fortnite streamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins and chess grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura on the new streaming platform. Kick doesn’t currently have Twitch’s viewership numbers, but pulling in Lengyel and Siragusa, who each have millions of subscribers across a variety of platforms, will surely have an impact. (At the time of writing, Lengyel has more than 304,000 followers on Kick, and Siragusa has 67,000.) And while Lengyel’s contract with Kick is non-exclusive, Twitch policies do not allow partners to stream simultaneously on multiple platforms, which means more time spent on Kick would leave less time for livestreaming on Twitch.

Currently, Kick’s largest streaming category is gambling content, which makes sense given the company’s backing: Kick is co-founded by Tyler “Trainwreck” Nikman, a gaming and gambling streamer, and gambling site Stake co-founder Ed Craven. The New York Times reported the streaming platform is backed by Australian gambling sites Easygo Gaming and

Lengyel and Siragusa are leaving Twitch for Kick as the Amazon-owned platform continues to deal with discontent among its creators, especially for its revenue split policies. In June, Twitch announced and quickly backpedaled on a new policy regarding branded content before unveiling its new “Partner Plus” program, which outlines how streamers can up their share of subscription revenue. Kick is looking to offer a better deal, giving streamers 95% of subscriber revenue, compared to Twitch’s 50/50 or 70/30 splits, according to a Twitlonger post by Nikman. (Streamers have criticized Twitch’s tiered system, which offers better revenue splits for creators with a larger number of followers.)

But there’s a lot we don’t know about Kick; lots of its programs and policies are not available online just yet. There are a lot of skeptics and critics, too, warning streamers against throwing everything onto an untested platform; platforms tied with up big streamers have lived and died plenty of times before. Let’s get into it.

What is Kick?

Kick is a streaming platform. Functionally, Kick is a lot like Twitch. Alongside the streaming video, viewers can chat. There’s space for saved videos and clips, too. On the “Browse” page, there are categories that help creators get discovered: gambling, chatting, creative, and categories for different games, like Fortnite and Grand Theft Auto 5. The big difference right now is that there are just fewer viewers on Kick.

Notably, Kick’s popular gambling category is displayed on the front page of the site, with subcategories for “Slots & Casino” and “Poker.” Gambling has been a source of controversy among Twitch streamers. Twitch updated its gambling policies in October 2022 to ban streaming gambling sites including slots, roulette, or dice games that aren’t licensed in the U.S. or don’t provide “sufficient consumer protection,” after prominent streamers started the #TwitchStopGambling hashtag earlier that year.

To get paid by Kick, you need to become an affiliate, just like with Twitch. Kick streamers can get affiliate status by streaming for at least five hours and having more than 75 followers. Currently, Kick is giving its streamers 100% of subscription revenue after fees, so roughly $4.56 per sub. Streamers get paid every one to four weeks, according to Kick’s subscriptions guide. It’s not clear when Kick will move to the subscription model Nikman outlined.

How do fans and creators feel about Kick?

Kick is new, and some critics think it’s too early and untested to bring on big streamers. Lengyel addressed this on stream after a Twitch staff member allegedly commented that Kick needed to focus on building the product first, according to Dexerto. (Nikman, too, posted earlier this year that Kick was choosing to invest in “all creators” instead of “spend[ing] millions of dollars acquiring large streamers exclusively.” The company seems to be moving beyond that statement now.)

Marcus “djWHEAT” Graham, a former longtime Twitch employee and former head of creator development, called Kick a “sham” in December. “So many things don’t add up,” he said.

The lack of transparency around the platform has been a red flag for Graham and other Kick skeptics. Polygon has reached out to Tyler Nikman for clarification and will update story when he responds.

What does this mean for Twitch?

It’s early to say what this means for Twitch’s long-term success; however, it’s significant that Kick managed to court Twitch’s top male and female streamers. It’s yet another bit of bad news for the company, which has dealt with PR fallout from the way it has handled hate raids, gambling, and revenue split policies — all of which have upset creators.

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