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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.

"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.

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.

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.

A 99 cent tip sometimes gets a broadcaster to smile, while more expensive offerings elicit a personal shoutout, or more intimate reaction.

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.

These cost coins, which you earn from spending time interacting on You Now.

Users can also give premium goods, which cost money to acquire.

"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.