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Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Is live streaming your life good business or dangerous?

Live streaming is becoming big business, with millions of people around the world broadcasting the minutiae of their daily lives in real time to adoring fans - and making small fortunes in the process. But is it safe?
Samantha Firth, a 21-year-old nanny living in Chicago, walks to the subway with her friend. So far, so ordinary.
But she is simultaneously broadcasting her 15-minute journey live via her mobile to thousands of avid followers.
"You guys are lit," she says excitedly as she looks at the stream of rolling messages and emojis that are popping up on her screen from her fans.
"I love you... you guys are the best," she exclaims, before heading onto the subway and zooming the camera in on a spot on her forehead.
It used to be that only film stars would be famous, but thanks to reality TV, YouTube and bloggers, anyone can have their "fifteen minutes" of fame, as Andy Warhol predicted.
The proliferation of live broadcasting tools, pioneered by Meerkat several years ago and followed by the likes of Periscope, Facebook, YouTube and others, has given many young people the chance to broadcast every aspect of their lives - whether they're brushing their hair in their bedroom or out dancing with friends.
In China alone, the entertainment live streaming market is valued at £5bn, according to Credit Suisse.
And in the US, 63% of 18-34 year-olds are watching live content and 42% creating it, finds a study by UBS Evidence Lab.
But for many like Ms Firth, this isn't just narcissistic fun, it's a cash cow.
She joined Live.me - owned by China's Cheetah Mobile - eight months ago after moving from Sydney to Chicago. The live-in nanny has since become one of the most popular broadcasters on the site, amassing 350,000 fans.
These devotees bombard her with virtual gifts - animated stickers that can be converted into "diamonds" and then real money - helping her pull in about $21,000 (£16,300) a month.
"Coming from a different country it has been difficult to make friends, but this app has allowed me to connect with people who have the same interests," she says of her reasons for joining.
"I spend most of my free time broadcasting because it's where most of my friends are."
She is keen to portray a candid version of herself, pimples and all.
"I don't wear make-up, I wear sweatshirts and sweatpants," she says. "Sometimes I cry when someone says something hurtful on a broadcast."
Like Live.me, live streaming platform YouNow enables these citizen broadcasters to make money from fans sending them virtual gifts. Fans of some streaming sites can also subscribe monthly to their favourite live streamers.
Source By BBC.COM
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