Kick has launched onto the scene as a Twitch rival, with a slew of creator-friendly policies. However YouTube star Ludwig Ahgren says dealings with “blood money” from involvement with online casino Stake — and them already being dishonest — will see it disappear in six months.
Kick, with the backing of Twitch star Tyler ‘Trainwreck’ Niknam, came into the streaming consciousness with gusto on December 5.
The platform promised the world to creators. A 95-5 revenue split, unheard of in the space. 100% profit from Kicks, the on-site donation platform. A generous Partnership program and a more “fair” Terms of Service were just some of the favorable policies posed.
However the platform’s dealings unraveled quickly. After it was revealed online casino Stake co-founder Ed Craven reportedly invested in and led the creation of Kick, many questioned the legitimacy of the new rival’s claims. Combined with a launch marred by the platform rebroadcasting Twitch embeds and other issues, community sentiment turned rapidly.
YouTube star Ludwig Ahgren had his say on the evolving situation. While he spoke more positively of Kick in a now-deleted video on December 5, he reframed his thoughts on December 6 after the Stake-Kick connection was revealed.
He said the platform’s promise to monetize entirely through advertising was untenable, given Twitch and YouTube have tried to do the same thing on a much bigger scale.
“The fact of the matter is that is what Twitch is trying to do,” he said. “That is, in part, why Twitch removes things like gambling or the hot tub meta, or they ban so much. They need to be able to cater to advertisers, something YouTube has been wildly successful with on the video service.”
Ludwig focused instead on the “nefarious methods” and “blood money” from Stake. While there will undoubtedly be the money to pay out creators the promised split, it’s a case of being transparent of where those funds are coming from.
“I think it’s really bad that Train didn’t disclose this was a Stake owned website. I feel like they were trying to hide it as well,” he continued.
“It seems like rather than being this virtuous website, which is supposed to be for small and mid-sized creators to get their fair share… [Kick] is a loss leader for Stake to advertise their business in a way that gets around the bans on mainstream platforms like Twitch and YouTube.”
He also said Train wasn’t the saint he professed to be either. His focus on “ethical gambling” in the platform’s policy means he has only one thing in mind: returning to the content that made him a Twitch mega-star.
“He is trying to do this, in part, to return to doing sponsored gambling content. That is why he’s taken the mast of letting people know about Kick without being the owner of it.
“He’s probably getting paid by the ass by Stake to gamble on the website, which is probably a better gig than being a 30% owner in a website where you have to grow from scratch. He’ll get his paycheck just for gambling on the website.”
Ahgren rounded out his early observations by saying there’s a definite appeal for the ‘little guy’ on Twitch or YouTube to swap to Kick to get some easy money. The ratios are by far the best on the market, and enough to make anyone take notice.
However they need to be honest from the get-go, and breaching that already spells doom for the platform.
“Be operated and owned by Stake, but be honest about it too. You still could feasibly provide value to creators who aren’t interested in gambling content because you give them such a good cut because you get the blood money from the gambling casino users.
“But they should know going that it’s not because it’s going to create a successful business that will sell to advertisers a year from now because you have so many users and watchers, because you’re making a sh*t ton of money as a loss leader from all the gambling streamers, which seems to be the reality of the situation.
“This website will, in six months, either disappear or be flooded with gambling streamers and should only be touched by people who want to lose all of their money or live vicariously through people who are losing all of their ‘fake money’ because all of it is sponsored anyways.”