- 09/24/2021 at 9:54 am #2182580freeamfvaParticipant
The live-streaming app where amateurs get paid to chat
Tayser Abuhamdeh doesn’t have what most people would call an exciting job. He works behind the counter at a deli in Brooklyn, a small shop that does a brisk business in snacks, coffee, and cigarettes. 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 YouNow, a live streaming service. His handle was Mr. Cashier.To get more news about <b>moonlive</b>, you can visit official website.
“I was talking to myself at first,” he says. “No one was there. But I was nervous, I felt like there were people watching. I was quiet. It was weird.” After a few weeks of broadcasting he began to find his rhythm. “Eventually I started opening up, saying random things, telling jokes and laughing at my own jokes. I started to act like people were there watching, and that’s when they showed up.”
Abuhamdeh’s routine was subtle. 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. 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.
His broadcasting schedule swelled from one or two hours a day to appearing live in four two-hour sessions. His fanbase grew, but so did his phone bill. “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 YouNow, which put him on its partner program, allowing him to earn money when his fans left digital tips and gifts.
These days a typical Mr. Cashier broadcast has several hundred people following live at any time. “At first, it got to be enough so I could cover my phone bill. Now I make more every month on YouNow than I do from my work at the store,” Abuhamdeh tells me. Along with broadcasting, Abuhamdeh texts and talks on the phone with his followers. “I get close to my supporters. I FaceTime with them. We become friends.” A couple of times he’s broadcast from his bedroom while sleeping. “Just cause they asked for that. They want to see everything that you do.”
YouNow launched back in September of 2012, but for its first year and a half struggled to find traction. 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.
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. 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 YouNow. So why now?
The reason is the rise of iOS and Android,” says Emmett Shear, the CEO of Twitch. He tried and failed to launch a general purpose live streaming service with Justin.TV. 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. “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.”
YouNow is run by founder and CEO Adi Sideman, who knows very well the long history of failed experiments with live streaming. “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. “It is a holy grail.”