In June of last year, on a whim and mostly out of boredom, Abuhamdeh mounted his phone next to the register and began to broadcast his day on You Now, a live streaming service. People would walk up and pay, he would ring them up, and then as they left, nail them with a zinger spoken to the camera.
But I was nervous, I felt like there were people watching. It was weird.” After a few weeks of broadcasting he began to find his rhythm.
A 99 cent tip sometimes gets a broadcaster to smile, while more expensive offerings elicit a personal shoutout, or more intimate reaction.
The company won’t share what the revenue split is between streamers and You Now, saying only that broadcasters in the partner program get "the lion’s share" of their tips.
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.
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.
Everybody say, 'We love Ben' in the chat." While the chat lights up with people chanting my name, Ginja dashes down his steps onto his front lawn, does an amazing corkscrew backflip, does it again for good measure, and then heads back to the porch, where he continues bantering a mile a minute, skimming the comments like a pro, dispensing jokes, attention, and affection in just the right doses.The comments on popular videos fly by far too quickly for the broadcaster to follow.Often you see streamers squinting to make out a username, trying to reply in real time to the flood of compliments and questions.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.