YouNow, an online video streaming application where you vote on broadcasters to keep them on the air or boot them off, launched today at the TechCrunch Disrupt 2011 conference in San Francisco.
If you vote up the stream, the broadcaster will stay on the air. If you don’t like what you see, you can click the thumbs down button and vote them off the broadcast. After they are voted off, the site moves on to the next broadcaster in queue. If you continue to cheer users on, they get access to additional minutes of air time.
As you perform better, you get points that give you access to more features and you get faster access to air time as a broadcaster. You can broadcast video from any mobile device, like an iPhone or an Android phone. You have to connect with a real identity, which should discourage users from broadcasting poor content like pornography, the company’s founder Adi Sideman said
“YouNow is live broadcast meets social gaming,” Sideman said. “Anyone can broadcast from anywhere using any mobile device.”
YouNow makes money by selling virtual goods like “green screens” for broadcasters, which give them different backgrounds. Viewers can buy virtual goods like roses to throw to the screen as they cheer on broadcasters.The company also partners with other sites like MP3.com, which can use the site to find aspiring musicians. Those sites don’t have live broadcasting components and look to sites like YouNow to fill that niche, Sideman said.
YouNow was founded in May earlier this year and has raised $1 million. The company is based in New York, N.Y. The company is launching a “music” channel for potential musicians and a “talk” channel for other kinds of broadcasts.