Still posting quirky photos on Facebook? Tweeting yet more wordplay? Wake me when it’s over because right now it’s all about Live Streaming. You hear that buzz? That’s thanks to apps like Periscope and Meerkat.
Four months after its launch Periscope can already boast 10 million customers. The user engagement and adoption for this form of Social Networking is totally for real, with Meerkat kick starting the concept and Periscope (which has clearly taken over) jumping on in.
The big question, of course: How important is all this to Marketers? Well, let’s look at the numbers. According to OOYALA’s Global Video Index, time spent watching video on mobile devices increased 160% year-over-year in Q4 2013. By 2019 more video viewers will watch an average of 21 hours per month on their devices, up from 12.7 hours in 2013.
Instagram and Vine let people record short videos and post them for later viewing. Periscope lets you look at the world through others’ eyes, right now. It’s like a news feed of real time videos where you can see what your friends – or strangers -- are experiencing at that very moment anywhere in the world. Twitter was quick to spot this disruption and bought Periscope in February 2015, before it was launched.
Periscope celebrated their exponential growth on August 2, 2015—when they reached 10 million active users— with this Medium post in which Kayvon Beykpour’s (CEO, Periscope) claims 40 years of live stream watch time daily. That’s sure to become a new metric: live stream watch time (LSWT).
Some brands have been early adopters, learning as they go. Some recent examples:
- Red Bull: A brand known for its unique and forward looking marketing initiatives, Red Bull didn’t miss out on Periscope. At Miami Music Week, Red Bull live streamed a handful of their Red Bull "Guest House" events, while also increasing their engagements using Twitter and Snapchat.
- Spotify: The popular music app used Periscope to post a ‘behind-the-scenes-video’ with Conor O’Brien of the Villagers. Spotify received hundreds live viewers and the video was replayed hundreds of times more.
- Mountain Dew: The brand used Live Streaming as a way to engage and reward their Twitter followers. The live video showcased Mountain Dew swag hats and T-Shirts, and a chosen few who commented on and liked the video got some Mountain Dew gear as a surprise.
- Adidas: The brand came up with a unique Periscope stream: giving fans a chance to watch James Rodrigues sign his contract extension with Adidas, in real time.
- Turkish Airlines: Turkish Airlines created a first of its kind live streaming of a flight from Istanbul to New York on Periscope. The live broadcast gave their social media fans an exclusive ‘behind the scene’ sneak peek, including a rare glimpse inside the cockpit. The ‘Periscope’ flight racked up 5K+ followers and 200,000 likes by the end of the broadcast.
- Forever 21: How to attract a millennial audience? Try using bright shiny things with many, many moving parts. Forever 21 and Breakfast teamed up to bring Instagram pictures to life using a giant, digitally synced adjustable billboard, a contraption that includes some 200,000 parts. The machine renders versions of Instagram photos hashtagged ‘#F21ThreadScreen’ and cameras stream the process live at
Spend an afternoon browsing Periscope and Meerkat feeds and it’s obvious that 1. This disrupter is in its infancy and 2. It is eminently exploitable. The trick will be – as it is in any up to date approach to digital content marketing – making the live broadcasts relevant, interesting, exciting, worth looking at. Serve up the equivalent of cheesy TV ads and your brand will fall into a black hole. But provide something of value – there’s no telling where this can go.