Recently I’ve been discussing the rise of video streaming apps and solutions such as Apple TV – but even as I write these posts, a new phenomenon has begun to take hold.
Live video streaming apps such as Twitter’s Periscope and South By Southwest darling Meerkat have attracted large numbers of users and an even larger amount of attention. For those who have been living underground (like an actual meerkat), these apps allow users to view live streams of videos posted by just about anyone, about anything from their smart devices. Viewers can comment or ask questions via the streams. The idea is to bring users closer to whatever or whomever they’re watching in a more immediate way.
Both Periscope and Meerkat exemplify how mobile technology can help people connect with others and find information in real-time. These live video streaming apps make it possible for me to learn how to cook up the perfect dish of Italian meatballs, watch my sister’s son play soccer a few states away from me, or follow and find out what my favorite celebrities are up to right this second.
In fact, mobile live video streaming will no doubt allow us to experience events like never before. Think of being able to “live” next year’s Super Bowl from the point of view of a friend sitting in the stands, or gain one-on-one insight into backstage preparations for the Oscars from an acquaintance on the production crew.
None of this would be possible without mobile, which has created a form of self-expression that feeds directly into the desire for live video streaming apps such as Periscope and Meerkat. The culture that started the craze of posting selfies on Instagram is now becoming the culture that loves to share ideas and hobbies with the world. It started with apps like Vine, but even those solutions have become too limiting for some. They need a different forum through which to express themselves. Live video streaming apps seem to fit the bill.
Of course, the market is still very much in its infancy, with only two primary players (so far) making a big splash. But I have no doubt that we are experiencing the precursor to a market that will begin to see new players moving into the space within the next few months, while established companies (Facebook, anyone?) begin to seek new ways of leveraging live video for their own users.
Periscope and Meerkat are consumer apps and some argue, just a fad. However, the launch of these apps certainly put a lot of marketing departments into overdrive, including Starbucks. Many big brands will want to stream live events such as conferences and product launches, taking advantage of the ability for live interaction with the audience – something you can’t do with recorded video.
Here at mPortal, we’ve been developing streaming video solutions for our customer’s for years, but admittedly not quite as attention getting! The business case for video discovery and delivery for most organizations is a bit different – you can check out a few of our customer examples below.
And don’t forget to let me know your thoughts on where you think the Meerkats, Periscopes and other similar apps might be headed!