The Best 'Day After Tomorrow' Example Today
Kick is the new kid on the block. And It’s one of the best ‘Day After Tomorrow’ examples I’ve seen recently. It shows that management makes all the difference in pushing the needle… I’ll explain, first a little trip down memory lane:
Where others failed
Kick is a new streaming site that rivals Twitch. Other companies have tried the last few years… and failed. ‘Mixer’ was bought and rebranded by Microsoft. In 2019 they poached the 2 most famous Twitch streamers at the time (Shroud & Ninja), in a deal to drop Twitch and stream exclusively on Mixer.
This was a mistake (I’ll explain in a bit).
They paid Ninja about $25 million for a multi-year deal, and Shroud about $10 million. A year later, Mixer was struggling. Microsoft shut it down and both Ninja & Shroud returned from their little escapade, a few million dollars richer.
Why Kick is now ‘a thing’
But now there’s Kick. They’re built by the massive gambling company Stake. Gambling used to be a super popular topic on Twitch. Meaning a lot of streamers were playing blackjack, roulette and other games and streaming them live to their audience. During this time, Stake was a massive direct sponsor to these streamers. They famously gave Drake (the singer) a $20 million dollar deal to play on their site and stream it.
Drake once got 626.000 concurrent viewers, breaking the Twitch record at the time.
To put that into context, Fox News’s record this year is less than half that at 299.000.
So yes, it’s a big deal.
Fun fact, streaming gambling was (and still is) illegal in the USA. So there are reports that Stake flew out these streamers to Mexico or Canada, or put them in international waters on yachts. Regulation is now changing slowly though, as states are reviewing their gambling laws.
Now, probably for that reason, Twitch banned the gambling topic. Big problem for Stake. So Stake said “screw this, we’ll do it ourselves.” That’d be like a sponsor starting a new football league just because they couldn’t advertise.
Just after this, Twitch revised their partnership deals which used to be 70% creator and 30% Twitch, to 50% - 50%. Causing outreach in the Twitch community.
This created a perfect storm.
Why Kick is winning
As a startup, they can disrupt the industry completely. Here’s what they did:
First, they also poached a few top creators. In fact, they gave Twitch’s top-guy ‘XqC’, a $100 million dollar 2-year contract. That’s more than Lebron James will make playing for the Lakers this year.
But curiously, they did NOT offer them exclusivity deals. That sounds completely insane, right?
Remember I called that a mistake above?
The Kick streamers will start their stream on Twitch, which is still by far the largest platform. The streamers have their audience on there after all. They’ll play a few games, get warmed up and get the party going. But then they’ll say: “Alright guys, going to start this game now but in 20 minutes I’ll switch to Kick and finish it there.”
This gets a continuous flow of Twitch users to sign up and start watching the streamers on Kick. Essentially breaking the habit of going to Twitch and bleeding them out.
A second thing they did is this. They advertised their partnership program, as 90% for the creator and just 10% for them. Undercutting Twitch by 40%. They don’t necessarily care about the profit of the streaming business, that’s not their business model. Kick is just their marketing funnel for Stake.
A final strategy, is signing a bunch of streamers. Mixer only signed the top two and called it a day. This wasn't enough. Kick has signed +20 so far, and mostly streamers with younger audiences at that. This is starting to create a movement where Twitch is considered 'old' and Kick is the new hot thing. Paired with the better partnership program, smaller streamers are choosing Kick voluntarily.
So now it’s up to you
Carrying over these learnings to your business is hard, but try anyway.
What are areas where you are currently experiencing a lot of potential, but don’t own the underlying?
Perhaps you’re spending a lot of marketing budget on affiliate sources, but you can perhaps start building your own, separate audience and link them to your business.
The ‘Day After Tomorrow’ is all about brainstorming to find next-level ideas like this, and spend some time executing on them. Because before you know it, something changes that renders you vulnerable.
Of course here at nexxworks, we can help you prepare for those moments. Just shoot us a message to get started.