The Revolution Will Be Periscoped

No Hot Links today as I have a packed morning and then I’m headed over for the 20th annual Ira Sohn Conference at Lincoln Center for the day (full agenda here, wait til you see this speaker lineup!).

But I wanted to say a few things about Periscope, the new livestreaming social app that’s slowly taking the world by storm. This weekend was major for Periscope. It was one of the biggest weekends for sports of all time. And my Twitter feed looked something like this:

“Joe Smith is now LIVE on Periscope at Yankees vs Red Sox”

“Mary Sue is now LIVE on Periscope at #MayPac fight at MGM Grand”

“Bobby1 is now LIVE on Periscope at #KentuckyDerby at Churchill Downs”

“Howard Lindzon is now LIVE on Periscope at #PodiatristOffice”

“JoeyBagODonuts is now LIVE on Periscope at Baltimore Press Conference”

“Starlord224 is now LIVE on Periscope at Hawks vs Nets @ Barclays Center”

…and on and on. There were live Periscope streams of Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby’s announcement charging six cops in the murder of Freddy Gray. There were live Periscope streams from all of the ball games and races and fights – some from ringside and some from the sidelines and some from behind the scenes. Concert Periscopes shot from the foot of the stage. Celebrity Periscopes planned out in advance and with higher quality lighting and camera stability. There was Periscoping on-scene at the Garland, Texas shooting. Brand Periscopes and news Periscopes and just about anything else you could possibly imagine witnessing live.

I have a pretty good history of sorting out which things would take off and which would be a waste of time. I told you about Instagram when it was less than 5 million users – it’s on its way to half a billion now. I think Periscope (and it’s now short-shrifted cousin Meerkat) are going to be absolutely tremendous.

300 million Twitter users are now in a position to share what they’re seeing live – with high-quality video and sound – and the things we’ll witness live from around the world are about to blow our collective minds.

From a media / entertainment standpoint, the ability for broadcasters to field and respond to the messages of the first 100 users of each livestream also offers a nearly unlimited opportunity to do interactive things that traditional television (or even YouTube) could only dream of.

This weekend was a “holy shit” moment for me as I watched epic events unfold around America from every conceivable angle and point of view. There are risks of course – such as the MayPac fight organizers not being thrilled about people buying the fight on pay-per-view and then livestreaming it for free to their followers. But these things will be sorted out. YouTube went through similar issues in the early going and reacted accordingly.

I wouldn’t get bogged down in the minor details of a disruptive technology’s early emergence. The genie is now out of the bottle. The revolution will be Periscoped.


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