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The company won’t share what the revenue split is between streamers and You Now, saying only that broadcasters in the partner program get "the lion’s share" of their tips.
Of course, anyone getting premium goods outside the partner program gets no cut. He tunes in to the channel of a user named Flippin Ginja, a red-headed teen and amateur gymnast who is lounging on his porch swing.
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. “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.
"It is a holy grail." In the 1990s Sideman studied art and technology in New York.
He was part of a group that believed everyone would soon be the star of their own reality television series, all broadcast on the web.
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.
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.
Often you see streamers squinting to make out a username, trying to reply in real time to the flood of compliments and questions.
"It’s all about the addiction to real time feedback and the nodes in the brain that it triggers," Sideman tells me.