CamSoda jumps into the world of paid life-streaming


Have you always wanted to show your messy room to hundreds of people? Want to get paid for the pleasure of streaming your breakfasts, lunches, and dinners? Feel a real need to share how long you can stare idly at your phone? CamSoda has a deal for you.

CamSoda is a streaming cam service featuring men and women in various states of undress and it is now offering a unique life-streaming program that lets you show everyone your business and nets you $200 a month and a free “custom” webcam. The service, LifeStream, is mostly NSFW so don’t click through right now.

While we could chalk this up to a publicity stunt by a publicity-savvy company, LifeStream does offer a compelling use case for live streaming. The “LifeStream” package has a fairly picky acceptance process and those chosen get a number of webcams to place around their house as well as a $200 stipend and CamSoda pays for their monthly Internet bill. In other words if you’re fairly certain your life is compelling enough to live stream then someone wants to pay you to do it.

CamSoda is careful to explain that they are looking for “non-sexual and sexual” candid live streams and that they are entering into an “arms race” with Facebook, Instagram, and SnapChat. To be fair, I would argue that CamSoda hasn’t just entered the arms race but that they’ve detonated the Big One. While services like Facebook offer wan, bland and generally unwatchable live video – with the occasional newsmaking exception – CamSoda has weaponized the process and ensures that the live streamers, if they aren’t doing sexy things, will at least try to be interesting.

And it doesn’t just have to involve sexy times. One could imagine a house full of programmers in Palo Alto paying for their La Croix by live streaming their brodeo or a band live streaming their home/practice space. To paraphrase Warhol, in the future everyone will be famous until they’re sick of it.

Further, CamSoda is looking to add a little VR to your live stream. From their press release:

CamSoda is currently testing a virtual reality (VR) camera to bring a fully immersive experience to the masses. The company has plans to incorporate VR into LifeStream in the coming months. This will allow participants to share their experiences more intimately, enabling viewers to feel as though they are actually in the room with them.

Porn, once again, is leading the technical arms race. And they have the right idea.

I predict a time when companies will find that it’s getting harder and harder to get and monetize user-generated content. While Twitter and Facebook are sitting pretty now, future networks will encourage us to broadcast to ever-more-granulated audiences and celebrities will no longer lend their names to companies that refuse to pay them for the privilege. A general UGC blow-out like this, then, is what companies will have to end up doing eventually anyway.

Ultimately this about seeing people maybe having sex. However, as we march ever forward into the world of new media who knows – maybe video of you, your unmade bed, and your floppy golden retriever will be part of a live streaming sensation that eclipses Hollywood. It could happen.

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