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.
"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.
Watching a You Now stream can be an overwhelming experience.
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.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 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.The comments on popular videos fly by far too quickly for the broadcaster to follow.