"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.
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.
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.
“At first, it got to be enough so I could cover my phone bill.
"The broadcaster is not the only content creator in the room," says Sideman.
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.
"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.