Live-Stream Is Blowing Up, It Is Not Just A Fad

Live-stream is well and truly exploding! In the last few days there have been reports of live-stream being in the pipeline for YouTube and Periscope announced they hit over ten million users! Live-stream continues to get even more popular.

About five months ago, I blogged about live-stream, never imagining it could grow so quickly. Back then I described it as being the closest thing to teleporting yourself to an event:

This week I attended an event in Santa Barbara, California...from the comfort of my college dorm room in New York. What is more, it did not cost me a penny! All thanks to live streaming, I watched the event on Periscope!

The Periscope v Meerkat Battle

Back then I could not tell who was going to win the Periscope v Meerkat battle (the two major players in live-stream). With Periscope having the backing of Twitter, an already huge social network, it was going to be tough for Meerkat to come out on top. One hundred and thirty day days after my first Periscope, the results are in:

Periscope Graph

There have been far more tweets about Periscope compared to tweets about Meerkat over the past month. That says a lot, and it is now clear that Periscope is well in the lead when it comes to live-streaming apps. In a blog post last week Periscope said:

10 Million
On August 2nd, we surpassed  10 million Periscope accounts. We launched Periscope just four months ago, on March 26, 2015. We would like to thank every single one of you for taking the time to use something that we’ve worked so hard to create. It means everything to us.

What's even more mind-blowing is that Periscope sees over 40 years of video watched per day. Periscope have not only gained lots of users in a short time, but these users are watching lots of content.

Source: Periscope

Source: Periscope

They also pointed out that they are not just getting people viewing through the smart phone app but also online at periscope.tv.

It is hard to get user numbers for Meerkat. Some sources say it has under one million users others put it at two million. Even if we do not know how many users are on Meerkat, the gap between it and Periscope is clear from the number of tweets being sent, and I can only see this gap widening. So far it appears Periscope are winning this race.

Anyone Can Be A Star

Thanks to live-stream gone are the days when being on "Jersey Shore" and "The Only Way Is Essex", were the only ways you could become a star. First YouTube brought a new breed of celebrity and now live-stream will too!

Irish fashion and beauty blogger Rebecca Casserly has well and truly made her mark on Periscope getting thousands of viewers on her daily scopes. Rebecca has already built a following of 5,000 people and collected over 2 million hearts on Periscope.

Rebecca Casserly scoping on Periscope from London.

Rebecca Casserly scoping on Periscope from London.

Professionals Are Live-Streaming Too

You won't just find these new stars and beauty bloggers on live-stream though, you will also find entrepreneurs, business coaches, marketers the list goes on. It appears live stream is for everyone. 

Many business people have already started doing webinars on Periscope like marketer Kim Garst. She refers to them as 'scopinars' and I they are far more interactive and fun than a traditional webinar. For starters, you can see the presenter. That is much better than just hearing a voice and looking at slides. You can also ask questions in real time and 'give hearts' if you like what the person is saying.

In my eyes, the biggest contender in the live-stream space for webinar type activities is Blab. Blab is available on mobile and desktop and allows for four-way streaming. For example three people could give a webinar and leave one seat open for questions. Anyone can jump in the seat and ask their question almost in person - you can see and hear them. 

Blab is only on the live-stream scene for about one month, it will be interesting to see how it does over time and what new early adapters we will see on the platform.

Marketer Kim Garst and Entrepreneur Nathan Latka discuss why webinars are not working leaving seats free for members of the audience to jump in and share their thoughts or ask a question. 

Marketer Kim Garst and Entrepreneur Nathan Latka discuss why webinars are not working leaving seats free for members of the audience to jump in and share their thoughts or ask a question. 

I even live-stream on Periscope myself, on how businesses can win customers by using social media and digital marketing.

Padraig O'Connor @oconnorpadraig on Periscope.

Padraig O'Connor @oconnorpadraig on Periscope.

Monetisation 

Making money from live-stream could be on the cards sooner than you might think. Periscope has already implemented a 'featured' section that highlights cool live-streams. In the future, this section could be used to highlight big brands who are willing to pay for the extra exposure.

I see Periscope making money in a similar way to Snapchat, by doing sponsored or featured scopes. They highlight your scope in exchange for a payment. I think this might not happen for some time. Periscope is still gathering users, working on fixing glitches and adding new features. Sponsored content is no doubt on the way - it is just a question of how long before they bring it in.

The Big Guys Might Be Here Soon

Major players like YouTube and Facebook might roll out live-stream for all their users shorty. Facebook has already begun allowing some celebrities to live-stream in their 'live' for mentions feature.

Photo via Facebook

Users can interact with the celebrity by commenting on the live-stream, and the celebrity can use the front and rear camera of their smartphone just like Meerkat and Periscope.

YouTube also appears to be testing out live-stream. They recently streamed a soccer match; Bayern Munich vs. Hamburg which attracted over two thousand people at kick off. If and when YouTube launches live-stream remains to be seen.

 

Is Live Stream The New T.V.

Live-stream will not replace television anytime soon. People on Periscope, Meerkat or Blab, do not have the dollars to invest in the production of television like shows. That said there is no doubt that live-streaming apps will reduce the amount of time people spend watching television even more. YouTube and online video content, in general, has done this already. These apps are another outlet consumers will turn to for more video content, particularly the younger millennials.

I can not see big brands taking to live-stream anytime soon. They will stay where the big audience is, and that won't be on live-streaming for a while. Yes, live-streaming is seeing tremendous growth and we should take notice of it but the advertisers will not take notice of it until the large audience numbers take to it. Right now that audience they are looking for are watching television. Television is not going anywhere anytime soon, but the likes of these live-streaming apps will certainly create a dip in television viewing in the future. Viewers of video content will enjoy the interactive experience of live-stream.

 

Live-Stream Market Research Toys - In The Palm Of Your Hands

Periscope puts very expensive market research equipment in the palm of your hands. You can find out a comprehensive amount of information by analysing your scope at the end of the broadcast.

1. You Can Judge Sentiment
By looking at when people are 'giving you hearts' (the equivalent to likes on Facebook), you can judge sentiment and what people like.

2. You Can See When People are dropping Off
Periscope shows you the number of people watching your scope at any given time. By looking back on your scope you can see what might have triggered people to exit the scope (was it something I said?).

3. You Can See Exactly Who Viewed Your Scope (Demographics)
After each scope you can view who watched your scope and in most cases you have access to their bio and twitter handle. If you were willing to put in the time you could probably find out the industry each of the people who watched you were in. You could have a good guess at their age, see how many followers there are and even reach out to them directly! 

Periscope provides you with lots of information about your audience. Something that television doesn't. These three areas about your audience and their behaviours are something that television networks and television studios invest lots of dollars in. They want to know what parts of their shows people like, when they would be most likely to drop out and the types of people that tune in.

You have these key three areas (to some degree) in the palm of your hands on Periscope - watch out Nielsen!

 

Live-Stream Is Here To Stay. 

There has been significant interest in it from the public; there are new live-stream apps out every month, and the numbers of live-stream views continues to grow. Although it is not a replacement to television just yet and advertisers have not shown much interest - give it time. Live-stream is still new, but it most certainly not a fad!

Watch this space.

Have you tried any of these live-stream platforms? What are your thoughts on live-streaming? Will it disrupt the television industry? Let me know in the comment section below or on twitter @oconnorpadraig

Padraig