Would-be social media stars are signing on to a new app to earn cash. YouNow, a live video-streaming network, has reached 1,000 partners -- a jump from 500 over the last month.
Unlike YouTube's partner program, where content creators are given a 55 percent cut of ad revenues, YouNow creators collect about 60 percent of money paid by viewers in the form of digital tips. In June, YouNow users spent more than $1.5 million.
Led by CEO and founder Adi Sideman, YouNow launched as a live video-streaming site in 2011. A year later, YouNow added an app that allows creators to use their laptop or smartphone to broadcast and watch in real time. Earlier this month, the app underwent a design overhaul that highlights 12 categories, trending hashtags and Editor's Choice streams. The most popular sections are #talk, #musicians, #humor, #gaming and #lgbt.
More than 75 percent of YouNow users are between 13 and 24, with about 55 percent female and 45 percent male. About 65 percent of users are English-speaking, 15 percent speak Spanish and the remainder are from Europe and the Middle East.
Sideman declined to disclose how many active users YouNow has but said there are 100 million broadcasts and views each month. There are 150,000 broadcasts and 50,000 hours of video streamed per day, up from 35,000 hours in June.
In October 2014, the New York-based company introduced its paid partner program. YouNow receives hundreds of applications to its partner program each month, coming from the talent directly as well as agents, management companies who work with social media stars.
Creators from other sites like YouTube, Vine, Instagram and Snapchat are encouraged to apply, Sideman said. The company's talent scouts look for creators with an average of 30,000 views per video and 50,000 followers.
To qualify as a partner, creators' must average above 500 simultaneous views per session and broadcast at least twice a week. Content must also conform to the site's rules, which do not allow abusive, illegal or sexual behavior. Partners are instructed to block or flag inappropriate users.
By the end of 2015, YouNow is aiming for 2,000 partners. Several YouNow creators will be attending and broadcasting from VidCon, an online video conference in Anaheim, California, this week. YouNow is backed by $15 million in venture capital money from Orens Capital, Union Square Ventures and Venrock.