"It is a dream that a lot of people have been thinking about for a long time," Sideman told me, relaxing at a conference table in his midtown New York office.
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.With the press of a few buttons Sideman tips Ginja the equivalent of , along with a message asking him to flip for Ben. Ben this flip is dedicated to you, for being so awesome.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.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.
“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.
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.
"I was running a media technology agency for a while and trying to shove this down the throat of every client, but nobody wanted it," Sideman says.