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Periscope Won – Now What?

With all due respect to a recent post on this blog, Periscope has won. The battle (vs. Meerkat) is over in large part because the idea (broadcasting live) needs a channel like Twitter to make it work…and Twitter owns Periscope.

One one side of the ledger, Periscope feeds on voyeurism. Yesterday I did a test. I did a live broadcast of my children playing in a sandbox in my backyard for 1 minute. I quickly had 4 people watching the broadcast and none of them were my Twitter followers…thus I quickly turned off the broadcast.

Where Periscope is interesting has nothing to do with voyeurism, however. It involves its integration into live sporting events and concerts. Users are now live broadcasting at events until their data or the venue’s Wifi interrupts. 

One artist who is embracing Periscope is Katy Perry. When asked about fans live broadcasting at her concerts, “I’m with it. I think that, when you see a phone, that is like the new applause,” she said. “So people used to applaud; now the more phones you see, you can just count it as the amount of applause that there would be. … I embrace them mostly as long as they’re not obtrusive.”

While Katy Perry may embrace it, count the NHL as the first major sports league to feel encroached by live broadcasting in social. To address the issue they recently sent out this terse memo:

We have been advised that certain individuals attending NHL games pursuant to credentialed access are streaming live footage from inside NHL arenas before, during and after NHL games using technology offered by companies such as Periscope and Meerkat.  As a reminder, NHL media credentials prohibit any “unauthorized use of any transmission, picture or other depiction or description of game action, game information, player interview or other arena activity … without prior written approval of” NHL or the team as applicable.

Without limiting the generality of the credential language, any streaming of footage is in violation of the NHL’s Broadcast Guidelines (including, for example, live streaming inside the arena less than 30 minutes before the start of the game) and Media Access Policy is expressly prohibited.

So there lie the battle lines that will be drawn. Live events are sacred – because arenas and leagues charge large amounts of money to fans for the live experience. This applies to ticket prices and cable / satellite season passes for individual games. I would not expect fans at this point to broadcast an entire game via Periscope (or Meerkat), BUT there the door is certainly cracked open just a bit. If you would excuse me, my friend is Periscoping his morning breakfast from his balcony in Louisville, Kentucky.

~ Jaime Hamel, @StopHamelTime & Digital Strategist, The S3 Agency


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