One of Twitch’s most popular streamers said Friday he is joining Kik, a rival streaming platform, in a significant blow to the Amazon-owned site and a sign of its increasingly strained relationship with content creators. .
Félix Lengyel, a Canadian known online as xQc, is signing a two-year, roughly $70 million contract, with incentives that could rise to a total of $100 million, his agent Ryan Morrison said. Said.
Mr Lengyel’s deal – as big as the two-year contract extension signed by LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers last year – could shake up the economics of the online entertainment world.
“That’s more than most professional athletes and megastars,” Mr Morrison said. “It’s one of the highest deals in entertainment, period.”
Mr Lengyel, 27, chats with fans, hosts reality shows and broadcasts himself playing video games. He has become a star in the livestreaming world, with nearly 12 million followers and the ability to attract tens of thousands of viewers at a given time. By some metrics, he is the most popular Twitch streamer.
“Kik is allowing me to try and do things that I haven’t been able to do before,” Mr. Lengyel said in a statement. “I am extremely excited to take this opportunity and maximize it into new creative and innovative ideas in the years to come.”
Top livestream personalities can earn millions of dollars and attract communities of loyal viewers by broadcasting their content, but many of them have left Twitch in recent years, attracted by lucrative deals from other platforms like YouTube. And some streamers have complained that Twitch has become less responsive to its online community and more focused on profitability than on keeping streamers happy.
those concerns came for the last fall That’s when Twitch said it would take a big cut of the revenue that top streamers earn from fans who pay to subscribe to their channels. Twitch changed that policy this week and rolled back a recent change that allowed streamers to restrict the ads shown during their broadcasts.
Kik, a streaming platform backed by online gaming and gambling sites in Australia, such as EasyGo Gaming and Stake.com, an online casino, launched this year and has been pushing its streamer-friendly policies. It takes only 5 percent of streamers’ earnings from subscriptions, compared to the 50 percent cut that Twitch takes. As a start-up, Kik is prepared to operate at a loss, said Ed Craven, the company’s chief executive.
Mr. Lengyel will primarily be expected to create content for Kik, but he will not be locked into an exclusive contract with the site and may pop up occasionally on YouTube or TikTok, Mr. Craven said. Mr. Lengyel still plans to appear on Twitch, though not nearly as often as he did before signing the deal with Kik.
Kik averages 110,000 livestreams a day, which is still dwarfed by Twitch’s seven million monthly streamers and 31 million daily viewers. But it has grown rapidly and attracted other stars.
“It’s about building something that’s really centered around the creator themselves and building a community that’s really built around them and not just around a corporate structure,” Mr. Craven said. “We don’t feel like we really have a right to dip into your pocket and take a portion of that.”