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Despite myself, I feel a rush of excitement, the thrill of having another human perform just for me.
"The broadcaster is not the only content creator in the room," says Sideman.
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.
This growth is part of a broader boom in live streaming services.
Meerkat emerged as a media and tech darling, easily winning the war for attention at this year’s SXSW.
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.
But now the mobile market is mature enough for a sea change.
"Guys, I’ve been drinking too much water," he tells his smartphone camera.
Along with broadcasting, Abuhamdeh texts and talks on the phone with his followers. Then in May of last year it suddenly clicked, exploding from less than 10 million monthly visitors to more than 100 million in the span of just four months.
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.
He was part of a group that believed everyone would soon be the star of their own reality television series, all broadcast on the web.
That included the infamous Josh Harris, a dot-com millionaire who imploded for his live audience, chronicled in the documentary We Live in Public.