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.

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.

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.

But I was nervous, I felt like there were people watching. It was weird.” After a few weeks of broadcasting he began to find his rhythm.

"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.

"Smartphones provide all the critical pieces for these new services.