xQc and Amouranth: Twitch titans depart for Kick

Kerem Gülen
Jun 21, 2023

At this point, alarm bells must be going off over at Twitch.

With the span of 48 hours at the tail end of last week, Kick had poached xQc with a reported $100 million, two-year, non-exclusive contract, where previously he’d been the biggest streamer on Twitch. Less than 48 hours later, Amouranth, Twitch’s most-watched female streamer announced she too was going to Kick, though the terms of her deal have not yet been made public.

That is two enormous staples of Twitch gone in less time than it takes to binge watch the new Black Mirror season over two days. And they will not even appear on Twitch anymore, as even with non-exclusive contracts, Twitch has just rolled out a policy where you can not cross-stream between platforms, even not monetized, something I wonder if they cooked up because they knew what xQc was about to do.

New player Kick snatches Twitch's top streamers

These big-name signings by Kick, and we are sure these are not the last ones, are in addition to the wild 95-5 revenue split that they are offering “normal” creators, far better than Twitch’s 50/50 for most streamers, and the best-case 70/30. On my own timeline we’ve seen dozens of streamers heading over to Kick to at least “try it out.” With that kind of revenue share, it’s hard not to be tempted.

Yes, everyone should probably be enormously skeptical of Kick and its long term prospects. It’s run by Ed Craven, the co-founder of crypto gambling site Stake.com, and there are many theories that all this is just a play to herd viewers into gambling with these huge deals working effectively as marketing. Craven says Kick will operate at a loss, given these kinds of numbers, no kidding. But the idea is that some vague concept of “gambling money” is propping all this up, which seems…like not that secure of a situation.

Image: Unsplash

And yet, in the short term, that really doesn’t matter. At a certain point you have to wonder how long this can go on and how many big names can be poached from Twitch before they actually have to do something about it. The same goes for smaller streamers long tired of Twitch’s revenue gobbling. Is it likely Kick’s 95/5 split will last forever? Almost certainly not. But when Twitch is trying to be “generous” by rolling out a 70/30 split for people who have between 350-2200 non-gifted subs, something that can be earned by maybe 1-2,000 total partners across the entire platform, it just looks ridiculous.

Essentially, it doesn’t matter if Kick ends up collapsing because at least right now, it’s a PR disaster for Twitch. Twitch’s philosophy may be to wait Kick out and see if it spontaneously combusts, but how many big and small streamers do they want to lose because they start implementing real, major changes to try to get them to stay? Not yet, in any case, judging by their latest moves.


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