Live streaming is not a novelty. Bambuser, Ustream, Livestream and a few more have been around for years now.
Still, since it´s launch in march 2015 Periscope seems to be the new new thing now. No, they are not alone, Meerkat was launched in February 2015 but Periscope seems to gather more attention. Why? Some say Periscope is just plain nice to use and others say it is because of Twitter.
Why is Periscope so huge?
Periscope is owned by Twitter which means that once you start using Periscope your Twitter followers will take notice of your streams. Whereas Twitter blocks Meerkat. Twitter decided to block Meerkat´s access to their social graph around the time Twitter acquired Periscope.
This was a definite key to the popularity and growth of Periscope.
Why does Periscope matter?
Just like Twitter, Periscope happens NOW! Not only NOW! But NOW-NOW! The delay or latency known to streams is minimal on Periscope, which means that the questions posted by viewers will be addressed as quickly as the host takes notice of them and that makes this platform even more compelling. The ever so more present presence makes it more live and more valuable.
But being on Periscope is not the value, it is what you do with it.
Think of it as your own TV-channel. Yes, you own a TV-channel with a cool name, but what are you airing? Is it only good for five minutes? Is it plain old boring? Do you air once a week? What does the viewer get out of it?
This is where the magic happens
Having an easy to use live streaming opportunity is a great way to communicate with your audience, clients and prospective clients. OK, but what can I do? For example, Jimmy Fallon lets the audience see a lot of behind-the-scenes situations. This is clear value, because you do not normally get into his dressing room. That is something. But very few people are Jimmy Fallon and only a few have a late night talk-show so what can you do?
How about a scheduled stream? You as a person or as a company can for example have a scheduled stream which airs on set times. That way people know when to watch and engage. Do what you want with it but this a good practice. How about a Q&A? Yes! That is clearly added value.
You can let your clients up and close and maybe even give some customer service in a easy, personal way. Let´s say your customer is having an issue with a product and is unhappy. If you hands on guide them and fix it in a live-stream you are clearly winning. These are only couple of ideas.
How do you make a good broadcast?
I have a background of hosting live TV and radio so my best advice is: prepare.
Think of the topic of your broadcast and think of what you are going to do and say. The content is everything so do think it through. Go through the topics beforehand if you have a co-host and think it through in order to make your broadcast professional. This is a huge ace up your sleeve.
This is your chance to have your own show!
The other side
Having live commenting is great for interaction but also a threat. The comments you will receive are not always rosy. It can be brand-threat and therefore worth of consideration.
What is your response to hate and coarse language? Are you simply going to end the stream or do you have nerve to stand up?
The easiest way is block trollers, simply tap on the comment and choose to block the user. Other followers will notice this and get the message. But handling the negative stuff in a good way is key.
Copyright issues is another thing.
The Pacquiao/Mayweather boxing match revealed a new threat.
HBO had the pay-per-view rights to the bout which grossed a 410 millions USD revenue in PPV only. This was billed as “the fight of the century”, something you do not want to miss.
Every fan of pugilism did not keep the blows above the belt. PPV-viewers were streaming the match on Periscope! This has also happened in other sports. At the moment this issue is tended to by the whack-a-mole-tactic. A stream pops up and is taken down by the admin, a new one pops up and is taken down and so on.
This will be a hot topic in the near future.
Where will it go?
Apple TV has an app which enables you to watch streams on your TV. This is in my opinion a sign that people do want to watch periscope and the consumers are seeing it more as a form of entertainment than just a social media.