Twitch is the live-streaming king: Do any young pretenders have what it takes to claim the throne?
New streaming platforms like Twitch in 2023
Kick is the most high-profile new streaming platform like Twitch. It gives 95% of revenue to creators – a huge increase on the 50% offered by Twitch. However, there are also valid reasons for avoiding Kick.
Find out more about Kick and other Twitch competitors (both new and old) below:
Kick is the newest video game streaming platform like Twitch.
It launched in late 2022 and has enticed several major streamers over from Twitch, including Trainwreck (Tyler Faraz Niknam), a non-owner advisor to Kick and one of its loudest cheerleaders.
At the time of writing, Kick has almost 100,000 streamers and a peak online viewership of over 500,000 (per Stream Charts). Way less than Twitter but not small numbers all the same.
The major differences between Twitch and Kick are the revenue split for creators and the restrictions on the content that can be streamed.
Twitch recently announced a change to its revenue share, with the split now 50/50 for all creators. This is one of the reasons streamers are leaving Twitch for platforms like Kick, which offers a 95/5 split in favor of creators.
Another big reason Kick has attracted major Twitch streamers is that Kick is less strict in its approach to the type of content users can stream.
The obvious example is gambling and casino content. Many Twitch streamers (including Trainwreck) streamed themselves betting huge amounts of money on gambling sites like Stake. After much criticism, Twitch banned this type of content, but Kick is happy to allow it.
In totally unrelated news, curious journalists have done some digging and have found evidence to suggest the ultimate beneficial owners of Kick may be Bijan Tehrani and Ed Craven, who are also the co-founders of… Stake dot com!
Kick is well worth trying for its reach and earning potential, but steer clear if the ethics of it all makes you squirm.
Trovo was launched in 2020 and is owned by Chinese tech giant, Tencent.
At the time of writing, Trovo has almost 200,000 streamers and a peak online viewership of over 150,000 (per Stream Charts). Again, it’s not even close to Twitter’s numbers but it is certainly a well-established platform.
As far as revenue options for streamers are concerned, Trovo pretty much offers the exact same slate of options as Twitter.
Two of the main differences between Twitch and Trovo are the incentive schemes for high performers and the level at which you can start to monetize.
Trovo offers a special incentive for its top 500 streamers, offering them a bigger cut of revenue which scales up the closer to the top of the ladder you are.
Twitch’s Partner Program also rewards strong performers, and I think it’s more realistic to gain access to that than it is to be in the top 500 on Trovo.
Trovo, however, makes it easier to start monetizing. On Trovo, you only need to reach 20 followers and log five hours of total stream time to qualify. That’s compared to the Twitch Affiliate requirements:
- At least 500 total minutes broadcast in the last 30 days
- At least 7 unique broadcast days in the last 30 days
- An average of 3 concurrent viewers or more over the last 30 days
- At least 50 Followers
It’s possible to stream on Twitch and Trovo at the same time (provided you’re not a Twitch Partner), so maybe this one is worth checking out without sacrificing your Twitch channel.
TikTok is not exactly new but it has pushed pretty hard on gaming content over the last couple of years.
There’s an entire section on TikTok’s creator portal dedicated to LIVE gaming best practices, where they encourage streamers to include plenty of calls to action in their content.
You can earn money through TikTok LIVE via subscriptions or by encouraging your viewers to give virtual gifts. TikTok shares 50% of this revenue (after costs) with creators – the same split as Twitter.
One catch with TikTok LIVE for gaming: You can only access the feature if you already have at least 1000 followers.
That means it’s essentially a non-starter for new streamers but, given its absolutely enormous reach, it could be an interesting option for anyone who has already built a decent following from other content on the platform.
Other streaming platforms like Twitch
There are more streaming platforms than I could ever hope to cover in a single article, but below are the two most obvious Twitch competitors plus one I personally would avoid:
YouTube needs no introduction but it has struggled somewhat to really challenge Twitch in the video game streaming space.
When it comes to growth and discoverability, YouTube is better at getting content in front of new viewers.
That means it’s easier to grow as a streamer on YouTube than on Twitch and that is, in my opinion, its biggest advantage over Twitch.
Twitch, on the other hand, is known for its loyal communities of gaming enthusiasts and is better for those who want to monetize quickly due to its lower requirements for the Twitch Affiliate program.
Like TikTok, streaming your gaming content on YouTube might be a good option if you already have an audience on the platform, as you won’t need to convince those viewers to switch platforms to follow your streams.
The main advantage of streaming on Facebook Gaming over Twitch is – like YouTube and TikTok – the huge potential audience that you can reach.
Gaming streamers on Facebook can earn money from the Level Up program. Once you qualify for Level Up, you can earn money from donations, subscriptions, and viewers buy stars (equivalent to Twitch Bits).
You need to have streamed at least 4 hours in the last two weeks and have 100+ page followers to qualify for Level Up. However, you need 250+ returning viewers to be able to set up subscriptions.
These might seem like big numbers, and they are higher thresholds than on Twitch. But with the vast potential audience, it might be easier to reach qualify than you think.
The key is finding the right thing to stream. There are plenty of sites that can help you find games to stream on Twitch – the same games will likely work well on Facebook Gaming.
One thing I think is really annoying with Facebook gaming is that you have to download a dedicated Facebook Gaming app. Just like with Messenger, it’s not possible to access this stuff through the main Facebook app.
DLive is a live-streaming platform that was launched in 2017 and bought by BitTorrent in 2019.
It offers an unusual and unique ‘rewards’ system that not only incentives content creators but also offers viewers bonuses for their engagement.
DLive also hands creators a 75/25% split of both subscription and gift revenue, which is far more generous than Twitter.
All transactions on the platform are made with cryptocurrency, which will put some users off.
Another thing that will put some people off using DLive is its growing popularity among white nationalists and other extreme right-wing voices, who are drawn to its less restrictive policies.
Not something I would go near, personally.
New streaming platforms like Twitch – final thoughts
Kick is the newest streaming platform like Twitch and has quickly gained traction. However, there are question marks over its content policies and its links to gambling brand Stake.com.
Trovo is another relatively new platform but it doesn’t seem like it will compete with Twitch any time soon. I can see TikTok LIVE Gaming, on the other hand, continuing to grow its gaming live-streaming market share.