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April 24, 2024

One of Twitch’s most popular streamers said on Friday he would join rival streaming platform Kick, dealing a major blow to the Amazon-owned site and a sign of growing tension with content creators.

Félix Lengyel, a Canadian known online as xQc, is signing a two-year contract worth about $70 million, and his agent, Ryan Morrison, said the incentives of the contract could Bringing the total contract value to approximately $100 million.

Mr. Lengyel’s deal – roughly equivalent to the two-year contract extension signed by Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James last year – could shake up the economics of the online entertainment world.

“That’s more than most professional athletes and superstars,” Mr Morrison said. “It’s one of the highest deals in entertainment.”

Mr Lengyel, 27, chats with fans, hosts reality shows and streams himself playing video games. He has become a star in the live streaming world, with nearly 12 million followers and the ability to attract tens of thousands of viewers at any given time. By some metrics, he’s the most popular Twitch streamer.

“Kick has allowed me to try and do things I wasn’t able to do before,” Mr Lengyel said in a statement. “I am very excited to take this opportunity and maximize it into new creatives and new ideas for years to come.”

Top streaming personalities can earn millions and attract a loyal community of viewers by broadcasting their content, but many of them have left Twitch in recent years, lured by lucrative deals from other platforms like YouTube. Some streamers have complained that Twitch has become less responsive to its online community and more focused on profitability than making streamers happy.

Those concerns arose last fall when Twitch said it would take more of the revenue earned from fans who pay to subscribe to its channels.twitch The policy changed this week And it reversed a recent change that limited the types of ads a streamer could show during a broadcast.

Kick, a streaming platform backed by Australian online gaming and gambling sites such as Easygo Gaming and online casino Stake.com, launched this year and highlights its streamer-friendly policy. It takes just 5% of streaming subscription revenue, compared to Twitch’s 50%. As a start-up, Kick is well positioned to operate at a loss, CEO Ed Craven said.

Mr. Craven said Mr. Lengyel was expected to produce content primarily for Kick, but he would not be locked into an exclusive contract with the site and could occasionally appear on YouTube or TikTok. Mr. Lengyel still plans to appear on Twitch, though not as frequently as before signing with Kick.

Kick averages 110,000 daily streams, still dwarfed by Twitch’s 7 million monthly streamers and 31 million daily viewers. But it grew quickly and attracted other stars.

“It’s about creating something that’s really centered around the creators themselves, and forming a community that’s really built around them, not just around a corporate structure,” Mr. Craven said. “We feel like we don’t really have the right to go out of your pocket and get a piece of it.”



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