Meerkat & Periscope: What is all the buzz about?

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.

None of this would have been possible a few months ago. Most events were not live streamed, most people did not watch live stream, most marketers and advertisers were not interested in live stream but all that has changed due to the rise of live streaming apps Meerkat and Periscope. No wonder there is such buzz about these live streaming apps!

Many brands have become early adapters of these live streaming apps including CNN, Red Bull, Spotify, Madonna, MTV and DKNY. From Red Bull live streaming extreme sports to Spotify broadcasting live streams of musicians like Irish folk singer Conor O'Brien from the band Villagers. These brands are doing Periscope/Meerkat really well tying their brand image right into these live streaming apps.

Spotify's live stream of Villagers Conor O'Brien on Periscope (From: Adweek)

Spotify's live stream of Villagers Conor O'Brien on Periscope (From: Adweek)

While the views these brands and others are getting is not huge, the people that are watching are loyal fans. A lot of the time the live streams are not announced in advance which means the viewers that tune in are willing to drop everything to watch the live stream. They are devoting their time and attention to the live stream at the drop of a hat, if that is not a loyal fan I don't know what is.

Just over eight thousand tune in to the premiere of Madonna's new Ghosttown video on Meerkat.

Just over eight thousand tune in to the premiere of Madonna's new Ghosttown video on Meerkat.


What I really like about these live streaming apps is that they allow for a two way conversation between the streamer and the viewer. Many brands regularly engage with their viewers, answering questions they have or remarking on comments. Someone who does this well is Dave Kerpen CEO of Likeable Media. 

Dave regularly uses Periscope to live stream Likeable Local webinars, presentations he gives or a discussion dedicated to answering the questions of his almost two thousand Periscope followers. He even runs some competitions via Periscope where he gives away free copies of his books as well as other Likeable Media merchandise, mainly foam thumbs!

I highly recommend tuning into Dave's Periscope live streams where he discusses social media marketing. They are always very interesting!

Who knows what the future of live stream will hold, I can only see it getting more popular with both brands and users. Brands that have just started live streaming will invest in it further as it gets more popular, I feel we will see an increased number of brands coming on board and even new personalities emerging out of these live streaming apps.

One thing is for sure, these live streaming apps mean your event audience can now not just be a local one but a global one. Although in the past events have been recorded and  posted online live streaming is very different. There is more of a buzz watching something live whether it is a sporting event or the original airing of a television programme. Which is why there is such a buzz about these live streaming events - it is natural.

The live streaming space will be very interesting to watch over the coming months and year! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or via twitter.