Above: I covered the Ride of Silence with Periscope earlier this week in Philadelphia.
Above: I dropped in on live performances by The Who in Philadelphia, The Pixies in Cleveland and Hanson in Oklahoma, all within a few minutes Sunday night — thanks to Periscope users.
Not so long ago, you might have been escorted from the arena, or at least had your wrist slapped, had you raised a camera during a concert. But the popularity of smartphones changed everything.
And thanks now to the popularity of live-streaming mobile video applications, many of those smartphone users are streaming those concerts live.
A recent article from myfoxny.com asks “Is mobile streaming theft?” But one expert they cited concedes that trying to shut it down is “like playing Whack-a-Mole.”
And Periscope founder Kayvon Beykpour told local10.com that attention to the pirated streams was overblown, adding that: “Generally, there’s way more media attention than there is a problem”
Singer-songwriter Neil Diamond even welcomed everyone watching on Periscope during a recent show, according to utsandiego.com.
And as I reported in an earlier post, Katy Perry says that when she sees phones: “that is the new applause.”
Want to learn more? The Wall Street Journal just published “Snapchat and Periscope: A Grown-Up’s Guide,” and Fortune has post on “How early adopters are using Meerkat and Periscope.”
How are you using them?
Above: “Lex and Davey” pull up on the scene.
In the broadcast news tradition, it’s usually all business when you’e on the air. Reporters at the scene focus every second on the news and maintain a concise, precise and authoritative manner of speech.
But Periscope reporters come from different walks, have individual values and sometimes seem to understand they are inventing a new genre.
Late last month, UK radio celebrities “Lex and Davey” tweeted “LIVE on #Periscope: Live police chase” — with a Periscope link — and then pulled up on the scene to deliver an impromptu play-by-play news report.
“There’s been a crash there,” one voice reported as viewers watched police taking a person into custody.
One explained that they “saw him speeding away” earlier, counted the police cars on scene and reported that they were on the A-6 in Chorley, which is in northwest England.
But there was also laughter as one said “Do not pass go,” an old Monopoly reference, during the arrest and we also heard a voice describe the “lovely, pretty police lady” who arrived to help.
Overheard questions (“Should we? Can we?”) and reactions (“I’m stuck. Oh, wow!”) also peppered the report.
The pair pulled away from the scene but promised a second look as they changed directions and paused at a traffic circle.
As I tried to explain in the last post, one of the strangest challenges of Periscoping live news is that you are live as you move between shots.
This time, a bunny rabbit briefly bombed the report. Here’s the video:
Above: Screen grabs from my demonstration.
As one of the organizers, I waited until all of the early attendees planned their sessions and then scheduled mine on “Periscope for Journalism” during the last remaining hour — which doesn’t always pull the biggest crowd at a voluntary conference on a Saturday afternoon in the spring.
Yet, I found myself leading a session with about a dozen in attendance, including journalists from The Associated Press, WHYY, Generoctiy.org and The Scranton Times-Tribune, as well as journalism professors, students and more.
A quick survey revealed that some participants had already been producing Periscope videos, others had been just watching, and a few more had just seen articles which left them thinking they needed to know more.
I scrolled though streamalism.org to share my experiences and talked about discovery, curation, sharing, saving, ethics, rights and the shortcomings of the nascent live mobile video movement. And I talked about developing a new workflow for live redistribution but I have some work to do before sharing much more.
I learned from others in the room about the challenges of multitasking and adding yet one more social media responsibility while on the job. And we talked about leaderboards inside the new apps, which obviously drive eyeballs, although I hadn’t been giving them much consideration.
Finally, I led a live Periscope demonstration, using my phone, laptop, Quicktime and a projector — to share the process on a big screen.
Shortly after I left, one of the attendees looped me in on a Twitter conversation about Facebook integration for Meerkat, another possible game-changer.
Below, @PhillyCodeHound Seth Goldstein caught preaching about Periscope:
Thursday night Periscopes, left to right above: I watched a parade in New Zealand marking the the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli Campaign, checked out the view from the Philadelphia Police helicopter and watched as some guy chased wild turkeys around his yard.
The recent explosion in live streaming video emerged so quickly that you can still read almost every news media report, and I have organized many according to issue below.
Advertising and Marketing:
• Periscope Has More Repeat Users Than Meerkat – adweek.com
• Twitter Inc (TWTR) Periscope Service To Be A Major Ad Revenue Catalyst – bidnessetc.com
• Live-Stream Video Shows Big Potential For Content Marketers – mediapost.com
• Live Video Is The New Clickbait – TechCrunch
• Meerkat Beats Twitter’s Periscope To Android Launch – ubergizmo.com
• Twitter Is Winning The Live Streaming Battle – techcrunch.com
• Periscope Trumps Arch-Rival Meerkat In Tweets – mediapost.com
• All the Ways That Your Livefeed Is a Lie – gizmodo.com
• Up Periscope! Twitter’s live-streaming app is exciting us, but here’s how it could be better – The Guardian
• Periscope is ALREADY on its way to becoming a parent’s worst nightmare – Daily Mail
• Students voice concerns about live video streaming apps – usatoday.com
• Periscope vs. Meerkat for Education – Work in Progress – Education Week
• How social media livestreams will impact political journalism – Columbia Journalism Review
• Periscoping Nano News: Fairfax County, Va., Live Streams Press Conference on Escapee – emergencymgmt.com
• Live streaming apps like Meerkat and Periscope pose legal risks – computerworld.com
•What Does Periscope’s Live Mobile Streaming Mean to Media? – huffingtonpost.com
• Periscope’s piracy problems: HBO issues takedown notices after Twitter’s app used to broadcast Game of Thrones – dailymail.co.uk
• NFL Broadcast Copyrights Threatened By Periscope, Meerkat – CBS New York
• New Periscope, Meerkat Apps Changing How You See Politics – abc6onyourside
• The 10 types of people you will see on Twitter’s Periscope – The Guardian
• 3 ways people are using Periscope app live-streaming – digitaljournal.com
• Meerkat, Periscope making live streaming ‘interesting again’ – cbc.ca
• What Periscope and Meerkat mean to our lives – livemint.com
• Periscope live streaming app raises new questions about privacy, citizen journalism – CBC News
What will you be streaming this weekend? Please consider looping in @Streamalism when you tweet.
Above: Nick Jonas performs in Dallas Wednesday night, as seen via Periscope.
Earlier this week, the National Hockey League cracked down on media members using new video apps like Periscope and Meerkat, and is now prohibiting unauthorized live streams from inside arenas beginning 30 minutes prior to each game.
But as brands, celebrities and institutions begin to grapple with the impact of widespread live video streams, the stakes may not always be the same.
Movie theatre owners seem less concerned. Hilton created a Periscope event around a Nick Jonas concert Wednesday night. And Katy Perry says that when she sees phones: “that is the new applause.”
As Mashable points out: “The branding opportunities for organizations like the NHL seem pretty limitless: rink-side live streams of team warm-ups, exclusive interviews with players and coaches, the list goes on. So it figures: Why cede those opportunities (and future dollars) to fans?”
And GeekWire took note recently when a National Women’s Soccer League team streamed an entire match via Periscope,” but then asked: “Given the insane amount of money networks spend for TV broadcast rights, are sports teams even allowed live stream their own games?”
But Yahoo Sports looked a little more closely between the lines, explaining that “one understands protecting the media rights for companies paying millions for exclusivity,” but asking: “Is that exclusivity violated by live streaming warm-ups? Or intermission? Or the coach’s press conference?
Meanwhile, HiltonHHonors embraced the new medium by inviting fans “to have a virtual front row seat” as they streamed a Nick Jonas performance last night from Dallas, reporting that the event marked “the first time an entire live concert (would) be broadcasted via Twitter and Periscope.”
— Hilton HHonors (@HiltonHHonors) April 23, 2015
At the same time, Variety reports that live streaming apps are “invading” theaters but that the movie biz is “not too worried,” adding that “media and entertainment companies stand to have more to gain from Periscope and Meerkat by using the services for promotions and special events than they might be hurt by unauthorized broadcasts of their content.”
Finally, when asked about streaming apps, Katy Perry told Mashable: “Embrace the future or you’re left behind.” Watch:
Above: I grabbed these frames Tuesday night when I spotted Argentine “periodista mochilero” (backpack journalist) Marcos Alvarez — or @PiodeMarcos — promising a 360-degree Periscope view of Times Square.
This site was designed to recognize and analyze the potential impact and opportunities created for journalism as more smartphone users embrace popular new live streaming mobile video platforms.
But when does streaming become journalism? Does it matter if the person holding the phone is a traditional or credentialed journalist, or is it sufficient if a citizen journalist is simply meeting the standard practices of the profession at the moment?
And what if video created without journalism in mind earns news value simply by virtue of its content? Will there be pressure for faster verification because it’s live?
We’re going to have to discuss intellectual property too. And a future post will explain my techniques for recording video for redistribution.
But for now, let’s just look at the steps you need to follow in order to start producing live streaming video news:
• You will probably want to use a mobile phone with a broadband connection, but working with a tablet with a camera and using wifi might be sufficient at times. Early apps favored iOS over Android but that appears to be evening out quickly. I haven’t yet seen any reports on possible broadband data costs, but an unlimited plan like I have is probably not a bad idea.
• Then, you’re going to need a Twitter account to work with Periscope of Meerkat — the hot new apps. Existing Twitter accounts will do, or you can set up a new one.
• Periscope and Meerkat can use all of the accounts on your Twitter app, but toggling among them can cost you precious seconds when you are reporting live.
• Next, you will need to download the free Persicope or Meerkat apps if you are an iPhone user, or Tarsii if you are on Android. Then, you need to sync the new streaming app with your Twitter accounts. It’s really simple.
• In the latest version of Periscope, first-time users will be met with a quick, explanatory tour. This may be true of other apps as well.
• Before you start streaming on Persicope, you can toggle a button on the screen to determine if you will tweet the link — or not. (Why not?)
• There’s also a button which allows all users to post live text comments — or just people you follow. I can imagine wanting to limit trolls, but until you have an audience of your own, you might learn more about the process by letting everyone in on the chat.
• Note that the chat button seems to cause some confusion. The default (grey’d out) position lets everybody in, and highlighting the button permits only your followers. A lot of users seem to mistakenly presume the opposite.
• The most important step for drawing participants to your stream is probably your response to the pale text area near the top left corner of the broadcast screen, which asks: What are you seeing now?
• The title text you enter will determine what your followers will see — which is especially important if they have set up push alerts. But this text will also populate the tweet created on your account by the video app, if you have selected that option.
• While Periscope affords space for more than 100 characters to title your stream, the app will also add “Live on Periscope” to your tweet — and a link to the live video — so, it will append the rest of your text. In other words; keep it short.
• When you are ready, click: Start Broadcast!
• Just remember that you are live — across the globe — and while the Periscope archives your video for just 24 hours, others will find ways to record if they want.
I haven’t figured out the maximum duration, but I streamed a video for nearly 45 minutes recently on Periscope without interruption. It seems as if only the first 100 viewers can get in on the chat, even when you set it up without limits.
There’s a lot more to learn and discuss, including when users seem to log in and out, how they engage with text messages, the meaning and value of those hearts on your stream and much more. But you should have what you need to get started now.
Looking ahead: if we are going to call our work journalism, we should adhere to the principles, and keep law and ethics in mind. Here are some guidelines to think about for now: