Last Updated on 07/28/2023 by Dean
If you have visited the new streaming platform known as Kick recently, you may have been left baffled because Kick.com looks like a carbon copy of Twitch.tv. Did Kick just blatantly copy Twitch? Is this stealing? The real answer might surprise you.
Kick is not actually doing anything illegal here. They did not copy Twitch’s source code. They didn’t steal anything. Kick is simply renting out the Amazon IVS live streaming solution.
As you are probably aware, Twitch is owned by Amazon. And Amazon bought Twitch not just to acquire its brand, but also the infrastructure underneath it. This infrastructure, which Amazon now owns, can be rented by any company to create its own livestreaming service under the name Amazon IVS.
Essentially, anyone who wants to can create a livestreaming platform by using the Amazon IVS solution, and that’s exactly what Kick did.
Kick isn’t doing anything wrong by looking like a Twitch copycat. They are simply using the same platform that Twitch uses because Amazon allows any company to build a livestreaming platform using Twitch’s infrastructure.
If you wanted to, you could have a website that looks exactly like Twitch too.
What is Amazon IVS?
Amazon IVS, short for Interactive Video Service, is a livestreaming solution offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS). This is the same technology that powers Twitch and this is how Kick manages to run a livestreaming platform that looks like a Twitch copycat.
Kick is burning money on IVS
Being owned by Amazon, Twitch pays for AWS servers at a discounted rate. Kick, however, pays full price. And running a streaming platform, especially a successful one, is very expensive.
So, in short, Kick is subsidizing Twitch by paying to use the Twitch video system via AWS. I mean, yes, I too think IVS is the best video system for this use case, but paying ~8-10x cost is not a sustainable growth plan.— Cyrus Hall (@cyrusphall) April 11, 2023
It’s unclear what Kick plans to do in it’s future, but right now it’s burning a lot of money by using Amazon’s IVS, which Twitch gets at a much cheaper cost.
Furthermore, Kick is not making much money from their creators, which they give a generous 95/5 revenue split to as opposed to Twitch’s 50/50 split.
Amazon wins, even if Kick succeeds
As Twitch’s parent company, shouldn’t Amazon care if Kick succeeds and takes Twitch down? Why let them use your infrastructure to do so?
The thing is, Amazon is making a lot of money from Kick because they are using IVS. If, somehow, Kick wins the streamer battle in the end, Amazon still wins because they own the infrastructure that Kick is built on and thus still make money from it.