Nick “Nickmercs” Kolcheff, who has been streaming exclusively on Twitch for over a decade, has become the latest gaming mega-talent to be lured away by rising rival company KICK. The one-year agreement, worth about $10 million, calls for him to broadcast live primarily, but not exclusively, on the new platform beginning in late October, according to people familiar with the deal.
Since launching last December, KICK has been making waves in the industry with astronomical deals for talent: In June, KICK signed Twitch stars Felix xQc Lengyel and Kaitlyn Amurant Siragusa in deals worth around $35 million and $7 million respectively.
KICK allows content creators to keep 95% of channel subscription revenue and currently does not display ads while streaming. KICK said it had 20 million registered users as of October, but an average viewing audience of 140,000, still smaller than Twitch’s 2.4 million.
The combination of the prohibitive cost of a non-exclusive deal and a much smaller audience has led many to question KICK’s economic viability, but its founders Ed Craven and Bijan Tehrani are sitting on $2.6 billion of 2022’s revenue from crypto-casino Stake.com that allows them some operational freedom growing their streaming platform.
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