Nick “Nickmercs” Kolcheff, one of the biggest streamers on Twitch, has signed a deal to continue streaming exclusively on the Amazon-owned streaming platform. The deal locks down one of Twitch’s most important creators for the foreseeable future, and it comes at a particularly important time, since Twitch lost two major streamers to YouTube Gaming in September.
Just to give you an idea of just how big Kolcheff is, the unofficial metrics site TwitchTracker says he has more than 28,000 subscribers, making him one of the most-subscribed streamers on the platform. If he had been convinced to stream on another site, it would have been a big blow for Twitch.
The streaming talent wars kicked off in August 2019, when Tyler “Ninja” Blevins defected from Twitch to the Microsoft-owned streaming platform Mixer. That led to an intense period of streamer shuffling as some of the biggest players signed exclusive deals with Twitch, Mixer, and other platforms like YouTube Gaming and Facebook Gaming.
While the deal-making has cooled as of late (in part because Microsoft shut down Mixer, removing an entire streaming platform from the market) in recent weeks, the ecosystem has shown signs of shifting again. In September, Ben “DrLupo” Lupo and Tim “TimTheTatman” Betar announced exclusive streaming deals with YouTube Gaming within days of each other — and nearly two years after they had signed deals with Twitch.
In response to an emailed question about whether or not he considered switching from Twitch, Kolcheff said “yes and no,” and highlighted how he produces content on other platforms every day. “That said, there is currently nothing like streaming on Twitch,” he added.
Terms weren’t disclosed for Kolcheff’s new Twitch deal. But I’d guess that Twitch may have dug deep into its coffers to entice him to stick around.