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The show must go on, which means technology is hitting every industry including the entertainment industry. New apps such as YouNow and Live.ly connect up-and-coming musicians with fans and enables them to receive virtual currency that results in dollars. In a time when music is essentially free to download, with even established musicians struggling to make money through albums – new ways to monetize is the answer. The new live-stream economy has the potential to fill that gap. Millennial fans of music today don’t buy CDs, but enjoy going to live concerts, because who doesn’t? With these young fans being technologically advanced it would make sense for someone to connect the two. These apps use virtual tip jars, and fans spend money on their favorite acts for interactions with them. According, to The Wall Street Journal, Zach Clayton a 16-year-old and resident of Austin, Texas told them he earned $100,000 last year for performing on YouNow. He isn’t the only artist living from fans tips/gifts.

The History Of YouNow

YouNow was founded 6 years ago, in New York, and already has 34 million registered users. Any entertainer can earn money on here, from comedians to one man performance actors, this app allows anyone with a camera, and an entertaining talent to turn their house into their stage. In case of fraudulent activity, the site also uses human monitors to detect illegal or offensive behavior to create a clean safe environment for users. Live.ly launched in 2016, and is YouNow’s largest rival to date. According to Musical.ly Inc the top 20 content creators make around $31,000 a month. Other companies have looked at this industries revenue making strategy and are taking notes on what they’re doing. Facebook Inc. has even considered using a tip jar for live videos by users on the site. YouTube released a new feature called Super Chat where fans pay for brightly colored messages that stand out during live streams so whoever is doing the live stream can see their comments first. Most of the revenue gained from the tip jars goes to the artist, another one-third goes to Apple Inc. which charges companies for purchases made on the app they sell in their store, and the companies take a small share too. The virtual gifting economy is another nice addition to the sharing economy, where businesses are thriving just on the good will of others.  

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