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Kick’s Performance in 2024: The Kick Creator Incentive Program

After one year and a half, Kick has settled into its status as a bona fide live-streaming platform, now competing on equal footing with Twitch and YouTube. The hype for the disruptor has died down, and Kick must drive viewership using quality content, entertaining streamers, and enticing incentives.

Kick’s philosophy revolves around looser moderation and higher revenue shares for streamers, attracting top talent with its creator-first approach. This strategy has been a double-edged sword: On one hand, Kick is praised for championing creator freedom and creating fair competition against Twitch. On the other hand, however, Kick has been plagued with doubt surrounding its attitude towards gambling content and controversial streamers.

To see the overall effect of this mixed reputation on performance, it’s time to review Kick’s status in 2024 and the measures it’s taking to support its creators.

Kick’s Growth Stabilizes After Initial Disruptor Hype

Kick’ started out promisingly, surging up to 52M hours watched in its first full month of being tracked (April of 2023). Kick has since seen positive growth in almost every single month over the next year, swelling its viewership to 134.4M hours watched as of April 2024. In total, Kick has grown its viewership by an average of 8.9% per month. This is a far higher rate of growth than any other platform over the past 12 months, with Twitch’s hours watched dropping an average of 0.2% per month and YouTube only growing by 2.7% in the same respect.

However, it would be pertinent to keep in mind that Kick’s numbers are much smaller than its competitors. While Kick had 134.4M hours watched in April of this year, Twitch and YouTube had viewerships of 1.7B and 566M, respectively. In this respect, Kick is still the underdog of live-streaming platforms.

The Top Kick Streamers Thrive on Controversial IRL Content

IRL streamers seem to dominate on Kick, padding out streams with occasional gaming content. n3on leads the pack with an average minute viewership (AMA) of 67K over the course of 2024. This is surprising given the lulls in his content caused by various incidents such as his arrest in Dubai. Gaming streamers pulled in higher hours watched than n3on, however: xQc, for example, has brought in 24.8M hours watched in 2024 so far compared to 19.4M hours watched for n3on. xQc’s performance is impressive, rebounding from an initial setback when he first transferred from Twitch to Kick.

Looking at the top streamers on Kick, one can’t help but notice that they are mired in controversy. The top three Kick streamers – n3on, Mellstroy271, and AdinRoss – have all been banned from either Kick itself, or a competitor platform at some point. For this reason, Kick has earned a reputation as a haven for the rebel outcasts of other online communities. The drama surrounding these creators fuels news coverage and, therefore, viewership, in large part contributing to the massive 379M hours watched of non-gaming content on Kick in 2024.

To see the current top streamers on Kick, check out Stream Hatchet’s live Kick ranking page:

The Shooter Genre Reigns Supreme on Kick

There is space for safe content on Kick as well though, seen more so when turning one’s attention to gaming content. GTA V appears to be by far the most played title. In 2024 alone, GTA V brought in 70.1M hours watched. However, streamers often tag their streams as GTA V content when, in reality, the stream features a variety of content. This might include reacting to news, watching trailers together with their fans, and playing smaller trendy games that are only long enough for a couple hours of content.

Looking at the other top games, then, a more reliable trend emerges: Most of the most popular games on Kick are Shooters of various kinds. This includes the second most popular title, Call of Duty: Warzone, which generated 19.3M hours watched in 2024. It also includes four other titles among the top ten games on Kick: Fortnite, Garena Free Fire, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III, and VALORANT

This discussion ignores one of the largest categories on Kick: Slots & Casino games. These games provide the thrill of the unpredictable matched only by the likes of Gacha games in Asian markets. Mega-popular “trash” streamers like Mellstroy271 got their start in Slots & Casino content, later branching out to IRL content and collaborations with celebrities.

The Kick Creator Incentive Program is Generous… to a Select Few

There seems to be credence to speculators’ claims that Kick thrives on gambling content and controversial streamers. What then of Kick’s claims that they offer creators freedom and generous pay for their time? Kick famously offers creators a 95:5 split of their earnings on its platform: 95% of all revenue goes to the creator, with just 5% going to Kick itself. This is more creator-friendly than its competitors, like Twitch which offers a 70:30 split to its top Affiliates. Streamers’ testimonies support Kick’s claims of generous payment, such as AdinRoss, who reports making five figures per hour streamed on Kick.

In an ongoing effort to push their creator-friendly platform, Kick recently launched the Kick Creator Incentive Program (KCIP). The KCIP offers eligible streamers revenue based on their per-stream performance, rewarding creators for their efforts and encouraging quality content curation. Of course, streamers must meet a basic set of requirements in order to qualify for the KCIP (detailed via the link above), the basic gist being that creators must abide by Kick’s terms of service and must have already established their popularity on the platform.

Where this gets dicey is in the details: Using Kick’s own metrics, just 0.31% of all Kick’s channels are eligible for the KCIP. That’s 616 channels out of 197K possible channels (only including channels that have streamed at least once). It’s worth noting that the eligibility requirements are subject to modification, and this number only applies to the 30-day period from the 22nd of April to the 22nd of May; but for now, the KCIP is out of reach for most regular Kick streamers.

Despite these initiatives, Kick is still far behind Twitch in terms of raw viewership. However, its response to community feedback is the right path forward. If it gains enough traction, hopefully it can split off from the controversial names that currently fuel much of its viewership. Stream Hatchet will be tracking Kick’s performance in the months to come.

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