"We vow to actively listen to our fans, creators and viewers"- Kick co-founder Ed Craven on moderation, events, Stake's involvement & more (Exclusive)

Ed Craven provided insights into some of the biggest aspects of Kick in an exclusive conversation with Sportskeeda (Image via Sportskeeda)
Ed Craven provided insights into some of the biggest aspects of Kick in an exclusive conversation with Sportskeeda (Image via Sportskeeda)

Kick, the Stake-backed livestreaming platform, has taken the internet by storm since it was announced in 2022. Considered by many to be one of the biggest competitors to Twitch, Kick has gone on to sign some of the most prominent content creators like Adin Ross, Tyler “Trainwrecsktv,” and Steven “Destiny.”

In a conversation with Sportskeeda Esports' Aarnesh Shrivastava, Kick’s co-founder Ed Craven shared insights into various aspects of the platform. The discussion ranged from addressing concerns about moderation and ban policies to the prominence of gambling-related content.

Ed Craven also hinted at the next big thing, saying that the upcoming Creator Programme will "blow the doors off anything" that Kick has developed so far.

Kick’s co-founder Ed Craven reveals plans on hosting in-person events like TwitchCon, gambling streams, and the future of the platform

Q) Do you feel Kick's new policies will force other streaming platforms to adapt by increasing revenue splits for creators? So far, they have resisted change.

Ed Craven: We are less concerned with what others in the space are doing and instead are focusing on our own goals at Kick in order to become the best platform in the space for both creators and viewers. We will always welcome competition as it helps drive us forward.

Every company has a different business model. Kick’s 95/5 split puts the Creator front and center in our model. I think asking other platforms to put the Creator first, at this point, does not serve their end goal; otherwise, they would have done it already.

It has been great seeing creators praise the model and how it is helping to empower content creators much more so than on other platforms. This was a core part of our thinking when we set about developing Kick as we believed creators, the beating heart of the industry, were being left behind and underappreciated. Kick, on the other hand, is made by creators and gamers, meaning that we are in a unique position to truly understand the market and what content creators and fans truly want.

We won’t resist change and instead vow to actively listen to our fans, creators, and viewers, as well as the wider community, so that we can fully embrace positive change. This is what will enable us to be the best.

Q) There have been concerns about moderation on the platform, with major streamers involved in controversies. Could you shed some light on the moderation and ban policies on the platform going forward?

Ed Craven: No platform gets it perfect from the very beginning, and we know that finding the right balance between moderation and freedom is a tricky thing to get right. Nonetheless, we have set out some clear guidelines for our users that we believe strike the right balance.

Last month we launched new advanced moderation policies, and we always keep these under review. We consistently monitor the platform and our users to consider where moderation needs to be addressed, but we always want to enable as much freedom as possible (so long as it is in line with our official policies). We have issued a number of chat updates where existing rulesets when we launched were not as clear as they could have been. After all, we are still in Beta mode! Let me be clear though, we don’t want to ever stifle innovation.

Equally, we have clearly defined boundaries when it comes to what is and what isn’t allowed on our platform. We are always adapting and will be ready to update these policies as and when required. We take a reformative approach and talk with the creator about their intent, as sometimes they might not understand what they did wrong. In this sense, a simple alternative suggestion course corrects the situation, and in turn, we build a bond.

Q) Trainwreckstv has taken the role of having some authority on what goes on behind closed doors, announcing features and bug fixes to the platform. What's his role in Kick, and how has the input from a veteran streamer shaped the platform?

Ed Craven: Train is a highly trusted advisor who knows the live-streaming landscape as well as anyone. As I’ve mentioned on my Twitter and Medium channels, Kick is built by content creators and gamers for the very same audience, allowing us to really understand what the community wants, what it’s after, and what has been holding it back previously.

Tapping into this knowledge and perspective is core to our mission and is what is helping us stand apart from others in the space.

Q) Trainwreckstv is known for his gambling streams. With him and the Stake connection, how valid are the claims that one of Kick's primary goals is to drive traffic to your crypto gambling site?

Ed Craven: It is no secret that a few months ago, a lot of the content on Kick was gambling-related, but I think this was natural following moves taken to restrict it on Twitch. Today, however, I think our content creators speak for themselves with their variety of content and are coming to the platform for the various benefits we offer creators and fans.

As for the claim that one of Kick’s primary goals is to drive traffic to Stake, this is nonsense. Stake is the world’s biggest online crypto casino with a massive, dedicated community in its own right.

Q) Any more projects you would like to share with our readers?

Ed Craven: We are fully focused on building Kick, listening to feedback, and growing alongside our creators, and know that there is much more to be done if we are to achieve our goals. Kick is THE project right now.

We just rolled out new verification metrics that will create a stronger community, as well as updated moderation tools that keep the bad actors out of chat. We’re currently drafting our Creator Programme that will blow the doors off anything we’ve produced thus far.

Q) You were a fan of games in your youth, correct? What sort of video games did you like, and have they had an impact on your career?

Ed Craven: Absolutely! Runescape was my go-to game growing up, and I have fond memories of playing it with friends online. I am privileged to have grown up in the golden days of gaming for sure, especially with online gaming really taking off during my childhood. I still enjoy playing games today and livestream with the Kick community every Saturday for hours. So yeah, not much has changed in that regard!

Q) So what's next for Kick?

Ed Craven: The team are always looking at how best to continue driving forward. Our launch so far has made some real shockwaves in the industry. Where we go will be determined by the kind of content people want to create, share and talk about, and I, for one, am extremely excited to see what the next chapter holds. We’re currently drafting our Creator Programme that I fully expect to blow the doors off anything you've seen so far.

Q) Given that Kick and Stake are official partners of the Alpha Romeo F1 team, can we expect Valtteri Bottas or Zhou Guanyu to livestream on the platform?

Ed Craven: For sure, that would be amazing to have this driver duo on Kick. The Alfa Romeo F1 relationship signals to the market the echelon of brands we want to attract for Kick, and we are keen to drive this partnership forward.

Q) Are there any plans for hosting Kick-affiliated in-person events like TwitchCon?

Ed Craven: Haven’t you heard? Vegas is going to be a blast for the Kick community. Definitely, more details are to come out of our socials, so stay tuned to our official pages for any developments!

Q) Given the importance of emotes in livestreaming, will Kick support popular emote extensions such as BTTV, 7tv, or FrankerFaceZ in the future?

Ed Craven: We’re already ahead of that and working with all third-party extensions our streamers love, like 7tv via staging servers. When we release our API, we want key extensions to be ready to go on day 1.

Q) There was a controversy regarding the platform’s most prominent personalities co-streaming the Super Bowl. Will there be changes in the Terms of Service to prevent this from happening in the future?

Ed Craven: We are aware of this news and always look to update our terms and conditions to prohibit any possible instances of copyright infringement. We have strict DMCA laws in place that are enforced. We don’t speak about specific cases, but should this ever occur, it will be because, in that specific scenario, prior permission had been obtained to stream such content.

Q) Will Kick take action against top-tier streamers if they violate the platform's Terms of Service?

Ed Craven: Yes. We treat all content creators on our platform the same regardless of their audience size and total reach. We have strict policies in place to ensure that the community is always protected and our platform can thrive, going from strength to strength.

There will always be some instances where further investigations are required in order to obtain all necessary facts and information, but our terms will always be crystal clear.

Q) Are there any plans to add enhanced chat moderation tools for content creators?

Ed Craven: We recently introduced a large update to our moderation system, making it simpler for moderators and streamers to mute, ban and report viewers if needed, with reasons provided for time-outs/bans.

Other cool features such as editing badges, changing the color of your name in chat, clickable emotes, updated slow mode, and follower-only mode (to name just some) were also added in our recent update last month. This is something we will always be looking at, and future updates are in the pipeline, too, as it's really an evolving space.

Q) Would you mind dropping a hint about the next big thing Kick is working on that could potentially disrupt the livestreaming industry?

Ed Craven: Just like the 95/5 split that has changed the industry, I am truly excited for our upcoming Content Creator program currently in development.

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