In concert: Periscope takes you to the show

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Jim MacMillan

Independent Journalist at jimmacmillan.com
I am a solutions-oriented independent multimedia journalist, based in Philadelphia.
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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?

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Imagine texting your favorite performers while they play for you; or just do it now with Periscope

Follow me:

Jim MacMillan

Independent Journalist at jimmacmillan.com
I am a solutions-oriented independent multimedia journalist, based in Philadelphia.
Follow me:

Latest posts by Jim MacMillan (see all)

Above: Nataly Dawn of Pomplamoose reads messages and waves goodbye after singing “Ain’t No Sunshine” for a small, spontaneous audience Tuesday night on Periscope.

For many years now, I have been plopping down on the couch at the end of my day and checking YouTube’s daily “Most Viewed” list on my Apple TV, just to see what made people click. I can’t begin to summarize the countless trends and discoveries, but at last I have found something much more interesting to do.

A couple of nights ago, I figured out how to enhance the experience of mobile streaming video consumption by mirroring my iPhone screen on the Apple TV device — which I have connected to a big screen and my home audio system.

I watched and listened as one Periscope user streamed Neil Diamond singing “Cracklin’ Rosie” during a live a concert — and it sounded terrific; even though I’m not much of a Neil Diamond fan.

I found another user streaming from a Fleetwood Mac arena show, but the house lights were up; so, it must have been streaming either too early or perhaps during intermission.

Then, I hit the jackpot. There was Nataly Dawn of Pomplamoose, strumming an acoustic guitar and singing into her phone — where about 100 of us were watching. Again, the sound was outstanding.

If you don’t know Pomplamoose, they’re not easy to define but it’s safe to call them exceptional innovators.

So, I simply texted what I was thinking: that I should not have been surprised to find her playing on this emerging platform. Mostly, I listened. And then I captured the frame grabs above just before she bailed.

This interactive experience felt like such a breakthrough — to text one of my favorite entertainers while she performed — that it made me wonder if this was how captivated TV viewers felt when they tuned in to Sing Along with Mitch 50 years ago.

Want more? One night later, I stumbled onto the stream from a guy who calls himself Marks Records as he rapped whatever anybody typed in the message window. Before I knew it, I had him rapping about my beautiful wife, our lazy housecat and my pitch that we all need to work together for peace.

I lost that link but found him doing it again yesterday. It’s quite an experience but definitely #NSFW.

I have also found myself attending sporting events through other people’s stream’s, often from the front rows. One guy streamed as Vin Scully read the lineups on the big screen at a Dodgers game. Other users took me to see NBA and NHL matches on recent nights.

The only problem is that you have to wade through a lot of baloney to find the good stuff, at least until somebody develops better search protocols. In terms of quality, this experience can feel more like surfing YouTube’s “Recently Added” queue rather than the “Most Viewed.”

Above all, streaming to the Apple TV left me wishing that I had my TV mounted vertically on the wall at home, and wondering how long it will be before mobile video production makes that the norm. Or, maybe we will have rotating screens? Time will tell.

Bottom line: Either I’m crazy or this is the biggest shift in social sharing in many, many years. What do you think?

Finally, randomly, this is still my favorite Pomplamoose video:

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