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Tayser Abuhamdeh doesn’t have what most people would call an exciting job. “Eventually I started opening up, saying random things, telling jokes and laughing at my own jokes.
He works behind the counter at a deli in Brooklyn, a small shop that does a brisk business in snacks, coffee, and cigarettes. I started to act like people were there watching, and that’s when they showed up.” Abuhamdeh’s routine was subtle.
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.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.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 You Now. "The reason is the rise of i OS and Android," says Emmett Shear, the CEO of Twitch.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."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.