What does the future of content creation look like?

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Live-streaming platforms are enticing creators in their battle to become the next big thing.

The face of entertainment is ever-changing. We’ve watched battle after battle unfold – think Blockbuster v Hollywood Video, or Netflix v HBO – and a new era of streaming war is upon us. This time, the battle for influence and dominance has moved to the even smaller screen.

Internet streaming platforms Twitch, Rumble, and Kick have emerged as key players vying for supremacy in a landscape that’s characterised by its unpredictability. With divisions running high, platforms’ power lies in the hands of the creators they support – and the fans that flock behind them.

As the long-reigning giant of the industry, Twitch was synonymous with the phrase ‘live-streaming’ before it hit the mainstream. After enjoying a monopoly for almost two decades, Twitch’s recent policy decisions have led to seismic changes. Policies which banned the four biggest crypto casinos – Roobet, Stake, Duelbitz, and Rollbits – and cut earning potential for creators have been harshly criticised.

Content creators were essentially made redundant overnight, and a community was left disbanded. 

Following the bans, where some saw crisis, the founder of crypto casino Stake saw opportunity, and took it in a vampire-style attack. 25-year-old Australian billionaire Ed Craven founded Kick which aimed to rival Twitch by luring big-name creators to endorse the brand: like xQc in a staggering $100 million deal

The battle-hardened among us know that brand loyalty hasn’t existed for years. Creators will go wherever offers them the best deal. And Kick and Stake’s strategy appears to be capitalise on this in a clinical way by throwing obscene amounts of money at some of live-streaming’s biggest stars for a boost, and wait for their fans to follow.  

This strategy has had some success with the platform emerging as one of the pre-eminent live-streaming destinations, alongside Twitch and Rumble, the latter of which first gained notoriety as a haven for the cancelled – a space for controversial creators like Andrew Tate or former President Donald Trump to sound off without worrying about their content being removed or censored. 

While Kick promises big profits for creators, Rumble champions their freedom of creative expression, facilitating a ‘safe space’ for creators and their audiences alike. And as it turns out, NASDAQ-listed Rumble’s profit-sharing model also took advantage of Twitch’s decision to revise their revenue split and offered content creators 60% of the revenue generated from ads and 100% of subscription revenues, which is unheard of in the industry. It also has a unique tipping system called ‘Rants’ which can help creators to earn an additional sum.

As a listed and regulated company, Rumble has stood the test of time, proving that ’free speech’ doesn’t mean ‘free reign.’ It’s a network built for, and by the people who use it. Now, big names are buying in, as many of the displaced streamer community continue their search for a new home.

There’s a detectable tension as streamers make their decisions. Creators are – rightfully – hesitant to sign opaque partnership deals, like those with Kick, which restricts content output that doesn’t include gambling on Stake and requires its streamers to work around-the-clock to produce it. 

Rumble recently signed YouTuber RiceGum, who claimed that while Kick would pay him big money – $50 million – they ‘wanted him to gamble like 30 days or something. Whereas Rumble, they just wanted me to make content.’

With Kick serving as a vehicle to promote Stake’s interests, the integrity of content creation across the whole community is threatened. Creators are being bound by golden handcuffs into becoming a mouthpiece for a casino run by a young billionaire, currently being sued by his former business partner, and has been accused of encouraging underage betting through unethical marketing tactics.

The reputational risks of being involved with Stake are real – just last month, Premier League club Chelsea FC cancelled their sponsorship deal at the last minute for fears of ‘making a total mockery’ of the work that Chelsea Foundation had pioneered on gambling harm awareness workshops in schools.

This shift towards platforms and brands that have the firepower and the motivation to support authentic content creation, as well as having a strong set of upstanding brand values, seems to be catching. Streamers are seemingly less able to be ‘bought,’ and instead value their creative integrity and freedom to explore their interests as they wish.

And greater independence and freedom aligns with the ‘crypto’ values that rising web3 and gaming brands are instilling in the popular psyche. For example, take Roobet – another gambling platform impacted by the Twitch ban. A self-proclaimed casino for the ‘next generation of gamer,’ the brand claims that rather than lamenting the setback, it encouraged them to re-evaluate their priorities and where they could truly add value to the community they grew from.

‘We grew out of the creator economy, and our ethos since day one has been to enable greater artistic licence for creators and celebrating what we can achieve together without limits and unfair restrictions,’ said Matt Duea, one of Roobet’s co-founders. ‘Amid a supportive community with the resources to back them, creators can flourish and have successful, fulfilling careers. This community is incredibly unique, resilient, and innovative – and we must do all we can to protect it.’

And Roobet appears to walk the walk too. Working alongside entertainment industry stalwarts like Snoop Dogg, sponsoring international organisations like the UFC, and most recently, launching an entirely free-to-play casino experience on Roobet.fun, they’re creating space for every type of gamer and going all-in to empower the creator economy. 

As it looks right now, the future of content creation ultimately lies in greater user control. Platforms that are built by the people who use them look like they’ll end up on top. But now is a decisive moment. 

For the health and longevity of the community, creators must ask themselves what they value most: short-term big money deals which stifle their creativity and fund unethical practices behind the scenes, or long-term support and freedom or to carve out meaningful careers with space to explore their passions.