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Kick now has real-time VODs with rewind, so why doesn’t Twitch?

Twitch logo nervous at Kick

The controversial streaming platform Kick has added a real-time VOD feature with the ability to rewind ahead of its biggest rival, Twitch.

It’s a different era for streamers in 2024. Just a few years ago, Twitch was the undisputed top dog of the streaming game with most of the biggest creators and influencers signing exclusive contracts. For a time, the platform remained uncontested as it watched challengers like Microsoft and Facebook fizzle.

However, renewed efforts from YouTube to support streamers and the rise of Kick have begun poaching viewers from Twitch. Adding more fuel to the fire, Twitch has reportedly failed to turn a profit, resulting in layoffs. Multiple formerly Twitch-exclusive streamers have also begun streaming elsewhere, including the likes of Imane “Pokimane” Anys. Part of that boils down to Twitch’s poor features when it comes to VODs and now, the relative newcomer is getting one over on the industry leader.

Why doesn’t Twitch have real-time VODs or rewind?

Kick now allows for real-time VODs at a significantly lower delay than Twitch.

The way it works on Kick, viewers can click on the ongoing stream in the streamer’s channel, which will take them to a VOD version with only a few seconds delay to the live. The feature makes it significantly easier for viewers to click back to something they missed or to create the perfect clip.

The feature works similarly to Twitch, but the biggest difference is the delay. Twitch VODs for ongoing livestreams do not include the last three to five minutes of a stream, making it difficult to rewind back to something that just happened. Add to that how difficult Twitch makes it to find a specific video and it’s a sub-optimal user experience across the board.

Audiences quickly pointed out that YouTube still boasts the most robust real-time VOD feature for livestreaming platforms. Unlike Twitch and Kick, YouTube’s DVR feature allows viewers to rewind and catch up with the native player. Clippers don’t have to go to the channel and click a separate VOD version of the broadcast. Instead, they can scroll to a noteworthy moment like a normal YouTube video.

Twitch CEO Dan Clancy stated in April 2024 that adding real-time VODs to Twitch would be “technically complex and potentially expensive.” Clancy pitched the idea of a limited rewind function, but most fans did not respond positively to the suggested update. Regardless, with Twitch’s competitors getting better every day, the platform needs to invest in improving itself to stay on top.

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Written by Gab Hernandez

Gab Hernandez has a particular love for video games that give players control over the narrative direction, such as Divinity: Original Sin 2 and Disco Elysium. Gab spends just as much time playing games as they do gushing about them online to anyone who will listen. Their work has also been seen on TheGamer, Gfinity, and Wargamer, and you can follow them on Twitter / X at @HardlyWorkinGab.

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