“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.
But now the mobile market is mature enough for a sea change.
If a customer was in on the joke, Abuhamdeh would banter with them a bit.
He shared stories from his home life, and slowly began to invite fans into it, broadcasting from his apartment, from a cousin’s wedding, while driving in his car or getting a haircut.
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.
"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.
This growth is part of a broader boom in live streaming services.