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.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.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.
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."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."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.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.Of course, anyone getting premium goods outside the partner program gets no cut. He tunes in to the channel of a user named Flippin Ginja, a red-headed teen and amateur gymnast who is lounging on his porch swing."Guys, I’ve been drinking too much water," he tells his smartphone camera.