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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.
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.
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.
"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." In the 1990s Sideman studied art and technology in New York.
Often you see streamers squinting to make out a username, trying to reply in real time to the flood of compliments and questions.
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.
These cost coins, which you earn from spending time interacting on You Now.
Users can also give premium goods, which cost money to acquire.