Kick's Arrival in India Sparks Payment Issue Allegations Against Local Livestream Platforms
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The controversial streaming platform Kick has entered India causing quite a commotion with several gaming personalities from the region talking about it. Kick enters at a time when two homegrown platforms, Loco and Rooter, have been competing to occupy the live streaming space, especially in the gaming segment.
Over the last four to five years, various Indian livestream platforms such as Rheo TV have come and gone, while platforms like Loco and Rooter have raised sizeable investment from venture capitalists. The former raising $42 million about INR 330 croes in March 2022 and the latter raising $16 million about INR 131 crores in May 2023.
However, with a new rival entering the local scene, there are a lot of murmurs and it seems to have unearthed some sour claims related to non-payment of dues to several streamers by these existing Indian platforms.
Maxtern Alleges Non-Payment of Dues by Indian Streaming Platforms to Several Streamers
The allegations were made by Sagar “Maxtern” Thakur, a noteworthy Indian mobile gaming personality, while responding to a question posted by Kuldeep Lather, Founder of Villager Esports, who was curious to know why a lot of people did not like local streaming platforms following a comment made by an X user who claimed that Loco and Rooter have “contaminated” the industry.
In his response, Maxtern publicly alleged that more than 20-30 streamers have not been paid their dues for about five to eight months from Indian streaming platforms, adding that he himself is still owed a month’s worth of money.
The issue of non-payment of dues to streamers by local platforms has been an ongoing issue for quite some time now. Earlier this year around late January, Kuldeep Lather initiated a discussion on about what his followers disliked about Indian streaming platforms.
Many top personalities from the gaming community like Animesh “Thug” Agarwal, Vasu Chaturvedi, Total Gaming, Maxtern, and more responded to Lather’s post with negative comments complaining of payment delays, predatory contracts, bad servers, and poor user experience.
Ten months down the line, little seems to have changed when it comes to , with allegations related to non-payment and payment delays still being cited as a problem along with poorly maintained servers and substandard user interface.
The person who has signaled the red flag related to payment discrepancies on both occasions has been Maxtern, who incidentally has accounts on both Loco (10,000+ followers) and Rooter (67,500+ followers).
That being said, Maxtern has not streamed on either platform for quite some time. His last stream on Loco is dated 14th May 2022 while on Rooter his last stream aired in September 2023.
He seems to be most active on YouTube (1.63 million subscribers), where he continues to post occasional videos rather than going live.
Meanwhile, Kick seems like the latest competitor to enter the Indian livestreaming platform space. It has already roped in popular Indian rapper Dilin “Raftaar” Nair, who has joined the platform and even held his inaugural livestream, engaging with his fans while also introducing them to Stake - a crypto gambling and sports betting website.
Stake’s co-founders, Bijan Tehrani and Ed Craver, provide the necessary backing for Kick’s operations.
Raftaar has already gained more than 1,000 followers on the platform since creating his account on 14th November. No official announcement was made by Raftaar or Kick about this partnership, even as the reputed hip-hop artist promoted Stake across his Twitter and Instagram accounts, muting and ignoring public backlash and criticism.
AFK Gaming reached out to both Loco and Rooter for comments against the allegations outlining non-payment of dues by Indian streaming platforms but has not received a response at the time of publishing this story.
With Kick threatening to enter the Indian gaming livestream market, it remains to be seen if existing platforms like Loco and Rooter will make aggressive moves of their own, or if will they choose to fold instead.