Pay to dirty chat
It initially piggybacked off of Twitter, but was quickly cut off, likely because Twitter has its own plans for a live streaming service built around a company it just acquired, Periscope.We’ve finally hit a tipping point where live streaming makes sense, both as a killer feature on a platform like Twitter, but also as a standalone business like You Now. "The reason is the rise of i OS and Android," says Emmett Shear, the CEO of Twitch.
More than 35,000 hours of live video are now streamed on the service each day, and more than a million dollars in tips flow through its platform each month.Tayser Abuhamdeh doesn’t have what most people would call an exciting job. “Eventually I started opening up, saying random things, telling jokes and laughing at my own jokes.He works behind the counter at a deli in Brooklyn, a small shop that does a brisk business in snacks, coffee, and cigarettes. I started to act like people were there watching, and that’s when they showed up.” Abuhamdeh’s routine was subtle."It’s all about the addiction to real time feedback and the nodes in the brain that it triggers," Sideman tells me.Users can give digital gifts, essentially sticks, like hearts, fistbumps, or beers."Smartphones provide all the critical pieces for these new services.
They take care of distribution through the app store, monetization through in-app purchases, incredible video quality through cameras and microphones, and connectivity everywhere with LTE internet." The growth and ubiquity of social networks is also "creating an amplifier effect for good consumer products." You Now is run by founder and CEO Adi Sideman, who knows very well the long history of failed experiments with live streaming.
His broadcasting schedule swelled from one or two hours a day to appearing live in four two-hour sessions. “I was using up around 70GB of data each month, and I’m with Verizon so you know that’s not cheap.” He was addicted to the interaction with the audience, but couldn’t afford to keep up with his costs.
So he sent a letter to You Now, which put him on its partner program, allowing him to earn money when his fans left digital tips and gifts. Cashier broadcast has several hundred people following live at any time.
“At first, it got to be enough so I could cover my phone bill.
Now I make more every month on You Now than I do from my work at the store,” Abuhamdeh tells me. We become friends.” A couple of times he’s broadcast from his bedroom while sleeping. They want to see everything that you do.” You Now launched back in September of 2012, but for its first year and a half struggled to find traction.
He tried and failed to launch a general purpose live streaming service with Justin. Eventually he pivoted into gaming, a niche where being tied to a desktop computer made sense.