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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.
"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.
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.
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.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’s all about the addiction to real time feedback and the nodes in the brain that it triggers," Sideman tells me.Users can give digital gifts, essentially sticks, like hearts, fistbumps, or beers.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."Guys, I’ve been drinking too much water," he tells his smartphone camera."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.These cost coins, which you earn from spending time interacting on You Now.Users can also give premium goods, which cost money to acquire.