Periscope & Meerkat – A wind of change for video?

Any marketer worth their salt will know the potential power that video content can yield. I say potential power because as with any marketing output there are multiple variables such as creativity, variety, and quality (and many other factors) that can make something brilliant, complete trash, or just hopelessly in between and average. Like a lot of things that are digital,  better – cheaper – higher quality production tools, a greater array and pure size of distribution platforms, greater user connectivity and devices with video and camera capabilities, and more intelligent and effective targeting tools continue to spawn a greater output of readily accessible video content. Where the saying says ‘an image is worth a thousand words’, you have to wonder if video is now the new image.

The short slideshow below by Adelie Studios demonstrates a the top 15 video stats for 2015 which support our ever evolving appetite for engaging video content. For further reading there are some useful video stats on this article by Hubspot that I recommend reading.

If you still aren’t convinced that you should invest in video content then have a quick read of some recent stats from YouTube.

  • YouTube has more than 1 billion users
  • Every day, people watch hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube and generate billions of views
  • The number of hours people are watching on YouTube each month is up 50% year on year
  • 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute
  • ~60% of a creator’s views come from outside their home country
  • YouTube is localised in 75 countries and available in 61 languages
  • Half of YouTube views are on mobile devices
  • Mobile revenue on YouTube is up over 100% y/y

Still not convinced…..then you’re an idiot!

Video – A new HUGE shift is coming

Video ‘chat’
When Skype hit the market place all the way back in 2003 offering video conferencing capability, it was pretty revolutionary. To be honest they were not the first company to offer this type of service and not really the best but they seemed (at least to me) to have the loudest voice, so I used it, and I loved it. Then over time Facetime has become a hit for Apple users, GoToMeeting and other similar professional services have became popular in the workplace, and most users of Google products will know and be users of Google Hangouts which offers video conferencing capabilities to multiple people. Whatever service you use, the point is there is tons of choice, they are all pretty good and offer HD quality streaming, and their cumulative and combined user bases continue to grow.

Video broadcast
Most of us these days have smartphones and on these smartphones we have camera’s. Take a photo or video on these phones and we instantly have access and the means to broadcast the content onto a bunch of different social channels. And that’s just what we seem to be doing. From tailored shortform videos for social channels like Instagram to video’s with a short lifespan on Snapchat, to guides, reviews, and everything you could possibly imagine on Facebook, Vine, YouTube, Vimeo, Google Plus, and webinars (and the many many other platforms).

But up until very recently, our personal broadcasts (not our chats) for the most part weren’t live, or if they were they were not publicly and easily accessible to all. They were simply snippets from a time before, sometimes just before the now…but they were not live.

And then something happened, something potentially massive happened – along came Periscope and Meerkat……

Periscope & Meerkat

What are they?
Hailed as the future of journalism, essentially they are live streaming apps that give the user, any user, the ability to live broadcast from their device for the enjoyment of anyone else in the world who happens to have access to the apps. The functionality on each platform is slightly different however essentially users can tune into broadcasts and comment on them in real time. Broadcasters can simply use their camera on their phone and start a live broadcast.

First (and only just in first place) there was a lot of noise when Meerkat came into the marketplace at SXSW in March 2015 and got a pretty decent following off the back of it largely due to its integration with Twitter’s social graph. Then Twitter acquired rival Periscope and pretty much shunned / barred Meerkats presence on Twitter.

Meerkat apparently has 2 million users and Twitter recently announced that they got 1 million Periscope users in the first 10 days, however Periscope’s greatest strength is the fact it is owned by Twitter which is a platform that is synonymous with real-time news journalism and news amplification.

Short 3 minute video from Hootsuite about live streaming with Meerkat & Periscope

What’s all the noise about?
These apps hope to gain ground where their predecessors have fallen short. If the platform user bases increase – and major social platforms enable smooth integration into their social graphs (which Periscope has a huge advantage on this count with Twitter), then there could be serious game changers across so many verticals and a change in user consumption / behaviour when it comes to video. Sport broadcasting, live music, the rise of ‘behind the scenes real time news journalism’, ‘up close with celebrities or CEO’s’ are all just a few ways that these two video streaming platforms could change the face of live video broadcasting and video consumption in general.

What the differences between Meerkat & Periscope (at present)

Periscope vs meerkat infographic

Source of infographic:


It’s an exciting time for video marketing and for digital in general with other platforms such as SnapChat being featured in Mashable just yesterday  with speculation that they are looking at live streaming of video. All marketers should be keeping a very close eye on these platforms and this space as it’s going to get very interesting.

A few useful links:


  1. Great blog! Quick question: how does someone know when to watch me on periscope? If I’ve got some good stuff I’m about to broadcast would I just let people know beforehand so they don’t miss the start, or is it more hit and miss?

    • Good question – if you follow somebody then Periscope automatically notifies you that that person is starting a broadcast. However the brand / person could also put a message out on their social channels with a broadcast time.


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