As fast as making videos for your friends, family and public became popular, now comes live streaming. With new apps popping up every day, including Twitter’s Periscope or even the app Meerkat or YouNow– the concept of watching something in the moment is all the rage.
I admit, when I first heard about watching somebody’s video in the moment, I didn’t get it. I’m too busy to even notice if somebody is live streaming in the moment, nevermind jumping in. And, why would I ever have need to film something live – my life isn’t that interesting.
But then I realized it was typically live moments of history such as the big Mayweather-Pacquiao boxing match that was last Sunday was not only viewed in the moment by those who paid to watch it but also by those who were watching livestreams from those watching it with their cell phone.
So with that, many of questions are coming up around licensing and infringement. Will people be asked to check their phones at the door when attending live events from here on out? Fortune Magazine stated that Twitter’s acquisition of Periscope and its boasting of its success puts it “in a somewhat awkward position, especially with its existing and potential TV broadcasting partners…because the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight was a pay-per-view event, one with hundreds of millions (if not billions) of dollars at stake, and most of the live streams of the match being shared widely on Twitter were illegal.”
Dropping Twitter Stock Value
As Twitter tries to revive confidence in its investors (the company’s stock recently dropped more than 20% last week and therefore lost $8 billion in market value), will Twitter end up losing large advertisers such as HBO? Or, will people be so much more interested in free content and Twitter that the market of pay-per-click become obsolete across the board and companies like HBO will just have to learn to play nicely with Twitter and make money elsewhere?
To get an idea of how many companies are jumping on board with live streaming, check out LiveStream.com.
This brings me to the question of knowing when something is live streaming that might be interesting. Beyond signing up for Livestream.com, uStream.tv, and the number of other websites, notifications could be set up with the hashtag #periscope but I’m guessing trending hashtags of an event will soon be followed by a number of live streaming videos by any given variety of individuals who might be at that event. This should be interesting. But this is the case for Twitter.
What about Facebook?
Meerkat is Facebook’s live streaming app due to the fact Twitter cut Meerkat off so they could push Periscope. Meerkat fans were not amused and are actually quite angry about the limitation of choice. Facebook welcomed the app and now the app has a feature that allows you to announce to your Facebook friends of your ongoing or upcoming live streams. Of course with Twitter, you can automatically share a live stream link with your Twitter followers but it seems more people are paying attention to their Facebook feed than their Twitter feeds.
Worried about watching some boring live stream that isn’t interesting? You can only imagine what type of narcissistic videos will go up. Well, with Meerkat a stream that passes 50 concurrent watchers as well as meet a certain criteria of people’s engagement and retention within the stream which is called ‘mobbing’ will be promoted within the feed. Meerkat will syndicate it to their official feed to help draw more viewers. If one pays attention to the top of the feed then they can catch what is trending.
Live Streaming’s Future
The idea of live streaming seems interesting and yet potentially controversial – only the future can tell and when I say future, I mean the next hour and day.