Last night, I enjoyed the sunset in New Haven, Michigan; watched Neil Diamond play “Red, Red Wine;” received a guided tour of the British Museum’s blockbuster exhibition, Defining beauty: the body in ancient Greek art; and was serenaded by a man singing “Pure Imagination,” as various fictional characters floated about behind him at one of the ComiCons occurring this week.
I didn’t have to apparate to any of these places to experience them in real-time – they were all brought to me through Periscope, Twitter’s recently released, live-streaming app that allows users to share their experiences in real time. Though it’s not the first mobile live-streaming app to exist, Periscope’s relationship to Twitter certainly boasts significant advantages, such as automatically suggesting people you already follow on Twitter to follow on Periscope. Originally only available on iOS devices, Periscope
launched its Android app this week on the Google Play Store.
You may be wondering what all the ruckus is about. Why would people want to watch live-stream broadcasts on a mobile device when they can just as easily sit on their couch and watch live TV? Periscope broadcasts aren’t the polished, edited stuff that you see on TV – they’re shared by ordinary people (and a few celebrities) wanting to share an experience with the world through their eyes. Many Periscope broadcasters simply share scenic views from their hometown or city. It’s intimate and, frankly, can be quite charming. Viewers can add comments on the broadcast (which broadcasters can view and respond to) and even show some love by tapping their screen to add hearts (similar to a Like on Facebook and Instagram, or a Favorite on Twitter).
So what’s the reach? Apparently, 10 years of content is watched per day on Periscope. On stage at the Code Conference yesterday, Periscope CEO Kayvon Beykpour announced that Periscope users have watched 380 years of content since the app launched eight weeks ago.
What’s in it for brands?
Periscope offers brands the opportunity to share a behind-the-scenes peek at their brand experience – their latest product; their company’s biggest personalities; the view from their workspace – live with audiences sprinkled throughout the world. Brands are already doing this – and benefitting from both the word-of-mouth and written publicity that these Periscope broadcasts are generating.
Yesterday, the British Museum gave a 30-minute live tour of its popular exhibit, Defining beauty: the body in ancient Greek art, hosted by British historian and broadcaster, Dan Snow. A viewer myself, I was introduced to the likes of Aphrodite and Socrates in all their marble glory. Though the video quality of a mobile device really can’t do these works justice, the broadcast was a great tease to pull more people into the museum to experience the exhibit in person. Viewers of the Periscope broadcast were also told an exclusive code for discounted tickets to the exhibit.
WIRED captured Madame Tussauds’ new Star Wars exhibit in London through a Periscope broadcast this week, giving viewers a close-up view of iconic characters from a galaxy far, far away. Even house viewings have been streamed – a Cambridgeshire property owner says he’s been “blown away” by the success of the broadcasts.
Beykpour expressed that Periscope is not rushing into monetizing anytime soon, and for now is simply focused on building a great product. Taking advantage of Periscope while it’s still in the early stages could be a great way to leverage what’s appealing or unique about your or your client’s brand and share that intimate experience with audiences around the world.