Are You Using Periscope Yet?

By | October 20, 2015


Twitter’s streaming video mobile app Periscope is old tech now — it launched all the way back in March 2015, which in Internet years is about a century ago — but there may be a few out there who don’t know much about it, so let’s drill a little deeper.

Here’s a useful overview/demo:

Periscope is still a minority sport – as at August 2015, there were just ten million registered users globally, which translates into pretty small potatoes down our way.

Still, the marketers have already begun playing in the space, well, because.

Here are a few examples of Periscoped brand exploitation.

Firstly, some early adopters via Mashable:



BarkBox, a startup that offers a subscription service for pet products, has been using Periscope to broadcast puppies hanging around its office. It’s diabolical.

General Electric


General Electric used Periscope to go behind-the-scenes on StarTalk Radio with astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and everyone’s favorite science guy, Bill Nye.



The sportswear company used the app to give fans a view of soccer player James Rodriguez signing a contract extension with Adidas. You know, for those fans who really like watching players ink deals to earn $$$.

Mountain Dew





The clothing retailer gave shoppers a look inside its closet.

New Zealand marketers had some fun with Periscope as well. StopPress reported:

Boutique Auckland burger joint, Burger Burger has successfully used the app, utilising it to live stream a blind date event it held called “BB Bachelor + Blind Dates” which it ran with the help of Motion Sickness Studio.

“People filled out an online dating profile form through the Facebook page. [We]… played cupid to who we thought would hit it off, and the whole idea was to involve Burger Burger’s audience by live streaming,” Motion Sickness Studio’s Alex McManus says.

… Boutique clothing brand RUBY has also been experimenting with the app, with assistant brand manager Isabella Lau saying the brand signed up in early May. “We’re still relatively new to Periscope but we think the app offers a lot of potential for us to get even closer to our RUBY followers,” she says. ” … for our first live broadcast we took our followers behind the scenes of our RUBY spring/summer 2015 lookbook shoot.”

“Periscope offers us the opportunity to give our followers a voyeuristic look at what goes on behind the scenes of a fashion brand, take them on the jounrey and bring them closer to the action,” she says. “Through the app we’re able to provide them with an experience they wouldn’t have had access to otherwise and engage with them more intimately than ever before. By the time they see the finished product on the shelves, they already have an established connection with it.”

Lau says Periscope’s live broadcasting ability is something RUBY is really excited about. “and we have some awesome broadcasts planned over the next few months.”

Perhaps one of the least expected brands to be an early user of Periscope is insurance company AMP which used it for its AMPlify event (an innovation-focussed series of talks from staff from local and international speakers) and was encouraged by the result.

“We saw an opportunity with Amplify Festival to test Periscope for the following reasons,” AMP digital business manager Shaun Taylor says. “The content was international quality and we thought it could be of interest to an external audience, it aligned with the festival in terms of being innovative, it provided an opportunity to test the platform for future events [and] we were doing some social activity around the festival with speakers and staff, so it seemed like a natural extension of our social activity for the two-day event.”

He says the key concerns were: “The quality of the broadcast for an event from a single phone, risk of negative comments that couldn’t be monitored due to the live broadcast, [that] we wouldn’t receive any views, or low viewership due to the low take up of Periscope and the fact it was a corporate broadcast.”

Overall AMP found the Periscope broadcasts over two days received a large number of viewers of parts or all of the broadcasts he says. “and we would look to use it again where appropriate. Given our experience, in the future we would plan the use of Periscope into the staging of the event, for example, the position of the phone and the sound and lighting of the event to ensure the best quality broadcast.”

Handle With Care

Entrepreneur magazine warns of one of the pitfalls of real-time live streaming:

A word of caution: real-time video is a highly spontaneous medium with very little room for error. Once your video is live, it’s up for the world to see. If you’re not careful, you might be at risk of courting a controversy or negative reactions on social media.

More troubling for brands, however, is the matter of content ownership, as the Guardian explains:

The biggest issue of course is copyright – the least understood law when it comes to agencies and brands and the easiest to break without realising that you have done so. Both Periscope and its biggest competitor, Meerkat (and most other competitors in this space, including UStream) shift the onus of copyright onto the user.

The reasons for this are pretty simple but also lofty – real-time video is hard to parse quickly for infringing materials (like YouTube does) but the law stands: if you don’t own it, you probably aren’t allowed to stream it.

Speaking with Robin Hilton, a media law partner at Sheridans, it is clear that now the bar for entry has been lowered the technology poses some serious issues for brands and could also undermine revenue streams for companies reliant on content. “While [these apps] could record revolutions unfolding in the street, it could also unlawfully show concerts and football matches, or broadcast fist-fights and intimate moments.

Brands need to watch out: they don’t want to be pushing illegal material. So they had better control what is being shown, and clear any rights. Advertisers should ensure that whatever they are streaming does not get out of control and thus convey messages they had never intended.”

Hilton spoke with me before Sunday night, when I tuned into Periscope to see what the world was sharing. More than 200 people were watching a David Guetta concert via a “helpful” onlooker (from the VIP box no less). The crowd were ravenous – “Turn left”, “Zoom in” and “Can you get closer?” popped up as I watched the set for about 10 minutes before switching out.

The quality of image was not HD and the sound was certainly not Dolby Surround. Instead viewers got what I term as “G-nough”, created from the Google News effect: people get enough of an experience to gain value but not in the optimal way to maximise revenue for most parties.

Beyond copyright, live-streaming services continue to highlight other serious issues surrounding privacy, ownership, permission and, mostly, monetisation. Ultimately more Periscope (and Meerkat) is good business for Twitter but what about the music companies?

I have spoken with several brands in the last couple of weeks and few have fully (or even moderately) thought through the risks of live-streaming beyond simple things such as broadcast-bombing, where someone in the background hijacks the broadcast.

Recording is the biggest area of confusion with these services. Beyond infringing by streaming, users (and brands) can suffer should they upload the live-stream for later use on other platforms. Many brands and agency folk I have spoken with believe, incorrectly, that because there can be no final product (ie a recording or upload) that things like copyright do not apply or have been magically taken care of by the app. They have not, and it is a complex area depending on where you are in the world.

There is of course, another concern: quality. Most brands are not providing a well-thought-out or relevant experience and simply broadcasting things that have little value and provide little return on investment to either party. Live-streaming is as much about withholding as it is about opening up, and without a clear strategy and plan (even one ruthlessly executed) it will ultimately disappoint one or both parties.

A Short Video Course About Periscope

If you’d like to know more about Periscope, we’ve licensed a short video course which covers:

  1. How To Install Periscope
    Fast and easy set up explanation about how to install the world’s fastest growing app today.
  2. Tour Of All The Important Features
    We talk you by the hand and explain to you all the important features in this app and how to best utilize it to your advantage.
  3. Setting Up Your Profile For Maximum Branding
    It’s not only about setting up a profile for yourself but it’s about branding so that you can build trust and grow your business in the long term. We give you tips about how to best achieve it.
  4. Configuring Your Broadcast Settings
    Here are some awesome tricks to get your broadcast done right. With the right settings and also how to make the best out of it.
  5. Using The Perfect Title For Your Scope
    Optimize your Scope title for maximum exposure and experience. Using our insider tips, you can stand out of the crowd easily.
  6. The 9 Different Types Of Broadcasts
    There are 9 different ways to broadcast and we will walk you through each one of them so that you can know when and what to use in different situations.
  7. Picking The Perfect Time To Broadcast
    What is the best time to broadcast? Not doing this simple thing right might cost you money and also not being able to get the maximum exposure for your broadcasting.
  8. How To Properly Interact With Your Viewers
    Viewer Interaction is a must when you use live broadcasting and in this video we tell you all about it.
  9. Save & Publish Your Scopes Online
    Click and few buttons and you’re done and never have to worry again about how to retrieve your broadcasts. Fast and easy-to-understand.
  10. Using Trending Hashtags To Expand Your Audience
    Build a massive audience using Hashtags. This is probably the fastest and simplest way to do get exposure. Use our simple tricks to get results!

If you would like to get access to this short video course, we’re making it available as a very limited offer until Thursday October 29 for just $49 +GST.

Click here to order and we’ll provide you with access to the video download: