YouNow is described in a release as “the live social network that connects audiences and broadcasters in real time.” Users can broadcast live to viewers and interact with them, as well as monetize their streams through virtual goods. For example, while viewers can chat with a creator for free, they can also choose to purchase gifts for the broadcaster or pay for their own highlighted chat messages to stand out from all the other messages from the other fans of any particular creator. YouNow broadcasters receive a portion of these earnings; Sideman told The VideoInk in May 2015 his company saw $1 million per month flow through the platform.
YouNow’s newest influx of cash will help the live streaming social app develop its offerings and expand on its current business. The app and web platform’s previous investors include Venrock and Oren Zeev, who led this new $15 million round. Comcast Ventures also joined the round and is YouNow’s newest investor.
“YouNow has struck a chord with young audiences who crave and are increasingly willing to pay for real-time video-based interactivity,” said Sam Landman, Managing Director at Comcast Ventures, in a release. “YouNow’s virtual goods economy is enabling the most dedicated creators to build rewarding careers on the social network, based entirely on their talents. We’re excited to support the team and their vision.”
“The addition of Comcast Ventures to our family of backers underscores our success in building a real-time social network that fulfills the needs of a younger, digitally savvy generation that is eager to participate in media and not just consume it,” added Sideman. “We are proud that many of our creators make their livings live-broadcasting on YouNow. We urge creative people to broadcast on YouNow and find their audience.”
YouNow currently claims 100 million active monthly users and 50,000 hours of new live video content each day.