"There's what you're able to do while begging for tips and subscriptions and then there's being able to connect with real brands," says Mobcrush's shade-throwing founder Royce Disini.
For Mobcrush's executive duo of Disini and chief executive Mike Wann, the problem for most streaming celebrities is that they either have the success, adoration and adulation that comes with streaming to millions of game-watching fans or they're getting nothing for the time and toil they're putting in beating the buttons on their controllers.
"The big guys were getting all of the brand dollars and the guys in the middle weren't getting anything," says Wann.
With 800,000 people on the Mobcrush platform streaming their game playing live across the various social networks they've used to build their audience, the company is now beginning to turn on its advertising revenue.
"We are slowly onboarding creators to 'go live' in the platform to 'Go Live, Get Paid'," says Wann. The new toolkit allows Mobcrush to authenticate a gamer's audience across all of their social platforms and match that gamer with a brand hoping to reach whatever demographic happens to be watching the button masher mash buttons.
Metal Gear (Lower)
"Broadcast in Mobcrush and be able to reach all of your accounts," says Wann, pitching directly to an audience I'll never even begin to comprehend.
For Wann, the goal is to reach the gaming personalities that exist in that twilight world of neither being a star nor a nobody, but only someone people think they know from the way their face is illuminated by a console's glow.
These are the players who have 20,000 fans on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, but had no way to reach all of them simultaneously in a form that could appeal to whatever brand they'd want to shill for simultaneously.
Players who stream on the Mobcrush platform can make anywhere from $15 to $2500 per-hour for live streaming their gameplay.
The payout is determined based on the total aggregate social reach a stream reaches and the interaction rate between a gamer and their audience for a single stream.
Mobcrush charges advertisers for the privilege of placing promotional marketing material in streams and through scripts read by gamers to incite and entice interest.
Below is an example of some gamer ranting about a movie they clearly have not seen from a synopsis that they definitely (sort of, mostly, probably) read.
Wann says that Mobcrush confirms the reach and vets the content using a staff of poor souls from Manila (who are likely already wading into the waters of Internet filth daily). For a fixed fee Mobcrush guarantees with talent a certain number of videos and a certain amount of reach for a certain amount of payout.
"Talent" on Mobcrush can make at least half of what the advertisers are paying to the company for their services, Wann says. And, unlike other platforms which place ads mostly programmatically, players get to pick what brands they want to pitch (so at least the interest isn't entirely feigned). These on-air entrepreneurs also choose the timing and placement of their ads.
There are some rules. Gamers that want to get paid can't use profanity, can't use hate speech and advertisers have a list of games that they don't want their products to be associated with (so no ultra-violent nazi-killing fantasy extravaganzas... which means I'm not eligible for payouts).
As Wann notes, right now, it's hard out their for gamer looking for cheddar. An hour stream on Twitch in the morning is followed by a four hour video shoot and edit sequence to get something up on Machinima, then there's the curating on YouTube and interacting with followers on Twitter. By the time 7PM rolls around it's probably time for these streamers to hop in their cars and start earning real money... for Uber or Lyft.
"There’s a disconnect between what the creators get and what the advertisers want," says Wann. And in this case the advertiser has already green lit the assets for the creators and Mobcrush has done all of the heavy lifting to get the ads online and in front of an audience... making it easier for streaming celebrities to go for that elusive bank of ad dollars.
“There are well over a million streamers with relatively small audiences from a few thousand to a million,” said Wann in a statement. “Our goal is to equip and empower all creators, especially that huge, nascent base of less established streamers, while growing the mobile game live streaming market as a whole. At last, virtually all gamers will have easy way to get paid for doing something they love.”
While the goal is to get everyone paid, those folks with 1 million followers still get paid more, Wann said.
No matter the payout for gamers, this is definitely a big money day for Mobcrush.
"The first time we are flipping the switch on ads," Wann acknowledged. "Before it was just a feed platform to test our feed capabilities, our broadcast capabilities, and our social interactivity."
- This article originally appeared on TechCrunch.