Periscope and Selfie Streaming: Cams going mainstream, Opportunity to get this right

Hi all. It’s a packed day at NAB Show #NAB2015!

First – the #SocialTV Index volume 2 is out! The free report is truly worth a peek.

John Eggerton of Broadcasting & Cable picked it up, as has at least one other outlet. The headline? Twitter seems to be losing ground to Facebook – fast. Declined Twitter_down_25_25% vis-a-vis August 2014.

If the numbers are correct – and they seem to be – then this is a big deal. (Methodology: I used my academic training in marketing research – and leveraged the power of Google Consumer Surveys.)

Check it out here for John’s take:

Second – let’s talk Periscope & Social Media.

I’ve been using Periscope a bit. I’ve a few more observations after peeking at the headlines.

First – I continue to see Selfie streaming as a brand new, immensely rich and complex new frontier. Just as YouTube has been a major influencer on the video & entertainment market – so too will Periscope lead the way in live selfie streaming.

But I still think it’s a Killer Feature, not a Killer App. Just as YouTube is not the sole definition of online video, so too will a thousand flowers bloom in the Now-casting market. And if you’re reading this blog – presumably you are an industry insider and one of those flowers should be a seed that your team should planting right now.

If you don’t yet know what Periscope is – it’s the latest generation of live streaming cam technology – and it’s on everyone’s iPhone. Surprise, the big story of 2015 won’t be about TV everywhere – it’s about Cams everywhere.

Live cams on iOS Apps are not new. But Gary Vaynerchuk pulled off a tremendous PR coup with Meerkat out of SXSW. Then Twitter & Periscope closed the deal on taking Cams – a long thriving genre of porn – into the acceptable mainstream. So – the selfie live stream is here.

That’s Periscope.

And it will usher in a wave of innovation and human behavioral change. (Note: As techies, we to be aware of that fact that we are moving into new human territory as well. So this new tech is not here solely to build brands, mint billionaires, and degrade ourselves further. We should also consider etiquette, manners, IP laws, our children, and what we want the future of life to look like. But – I’m at NAB – so now I’ll go back to my original topic – the commercial opportunity for TV broadcasters. *sigh*)

Periscope’s bumps are the clues to your opportunity.

1) Curating & Community. The integration to the social graph is key. Twitter might mess this one up! The discovery experience on Periscope has already lost its appeal for me – owing to the lack of filtering and configuring possibilities. I’ve tried to show the app to several friends – and each time I find nothing of interest. I think I need to update my app – so I’ll update this viewpoint later.

But the opportunity this problem represents for TV Network brands and their creative talent is enormous. Live streaming is intimate and personal – it represents a new wave along the beach of our transformation toward mobile digital lives.

Btw, Kudos to FOX Sports on a bold, fun Periscope programming strategy. Last week I witnessed – no, I participated – in a live, real-time backstage pass of FOX Sports Live. My name was read out loud by their on-air broadcaster, Charissa Thompson. It was wild! @CharissaT

Periscoping with a brand and talent is waaay better than Periscoping alone.

2) Bandwidth. Uplink bandwidth is a big challenge. I’ve tried to Periscope within my hotel – it’s clear that our overall mobile network infrastructure is going to have to go through more growing pains. My client nanoCosmos is expert at live encoding on iOS devices – and at software development more generally – and I’ve got more than a few ideas on how to execute an App with a great UX around these difficulties. But it’ll like take 1 – 2 years of innovation for this space to mature.

3) Trolls! (And, Minimum Viable Product disease.) It’s vogue these days to talk about MVPs. But the flip-side to that is that many of these new Apps with billion dollar valuations have such incredibly thin products.

The best example is the lack of moderating features on Periscope. But others are writing about that – so here’s another, even simpler to solve example that is bothering me.

When I log into Periscope – my screen is filled with scribbles of a language that I cannot understand. Presumably it is Swahili. But Google knows that I couldn’t even muster the skills to learn Swedish – and I lived there for two years! So why doesn’t Twitter know that I am not skilled in Aramaic?

Building a user-configurable UX for a more specifically defined audience – that’s the key to unlocking incredible Now-casting experiences – and anyone that currently has an audience (read: Broadcasters) has a next-generation opportunity here.

But your product has to have more substance – it has to work better – it has to empower talent and athletes and journalists and content leaders on your existing teams – it’ll need editing – tagging – graphics. And partnerships with the social networks.

4) We’re clearly still in the Discovery Phase. So here’s my advice to TV Networks: Facilitate a day-long session with your whip smart online video and social media teams. Find out what they think could be done with this new mode of communication. Then, facilitate a day-long session with your dedicated video tech ops pros. You know, the guys that build the racks and connect your Control Room to the Clouds. You’ll get different results – and both sets of brainstorms will be strategically on-target.

That starts a nice dialog across your silos – and you can go to work building collaborative workflows from there.

5) Rights protection. We’ll have to opine on this later.

6) Last – let’s list out some additional apps I’ve found:

* NanoStream Live – this app shows off the video tech chops of report sponsor Berlin-based Note: The nanoCosmos App is a framework app that can be easily customized and white labeled. Check them out at #NAB2015 – South Upper – there is a map on my

* Hang w/ – a well-funded crew out of L.A. has one of the best, more fully featured Live streaming apps out there. Check it out.

* – check it out at the Avid booth

* Stringwire – this is owned by NBC News – but weirdly they’ve not done much PR trying to chase Periscope – I assume we’ll see a big announcement soon from this crew.

* GoCoder – my client Wowza Media Systems has a nice app for live streaming as well – although their true bread and butter is the back-end infrastructure. (Phenomenal new Wowza Streaming Cloud on offer at #NAB2015 – come check it out!) Visit my for a map.


Expert in video tech, TV biz, prototyping, product strategy, marketing & sales.

One Response to “Periscope and Selfie Streaming: Cams going mainstream, Opportunity to get this right”

  1. Brian,

    Great stuff as always – incredibly thoughtful job of covering this important growing space! Are you at NAB this week? If so, would love to grab a coffee.

    Bryant McBride
    CEO, Burst

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