All Posts in Meerkat

September 7, 2015Published by: Joe Cant

Live streaming apps: innovation, or a step too far?

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Live streaming, as with any innovative medium, has its ups and downs. An unfortunate event which has brought it to light recently was the recent tragic events in Virginia, USA, in which Alison Parker and Adam Ward were gunned down during an interview on live TV, with the killer filming and uploading the entire scene on social media, we look into the effects social media, in particular live streaming, has on society today.

When we look at innovative and popular social media services such as the live streaming apps Periscope and Meerkat, Snapchat with its 4 billion pieces of content uploaded daily, and Instagram which has 300 million active users each month, the potential to disrupt and create problems for broadcasters and established industries is huge.

With the opportunity to broadcast live video wherever you are with just a mobile phone, the need for live TV reporting equipment; vans, cameras and sound operators is increasingly becoming obsolete. Now, if a bystander witnesses a newsworthy event, live streaming apps allow them to become an amateur news reporter for the day - or at the very least a cameraman!

These new apps are not just influencing news reporting and the media landscape but also the sports industry. The ‘fight of the century’ provides a good example. Broadcasters of the boxing match between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao in May suffered as a result of Periscope users live streaming the match for free, rather than paying the $100 pay-per-view charge.

The US National Hockey League, have tried to fight the growth of user generated content by banning live streaming apps in its games. There are clearly concerns where live streaming is concerned. But why? Of course, money. But also brand reputation and experience. Let’s take Wimbledon, the UK’s biggest tennis competition for example.

Wimbledon is broadcast live on BBC throughout the tournament had its own live Periscope stream of the ticket queue outside the grounds, but it banned the use of the app inside the tennis courts. By setting these standards for the tournament are the All England Lawn Tennis Club trying to preserve the quality of content created on site? Or perhaps the image of the brand and the tournament? Or even the eagerness to capture moments on court that not only distract supporters from watching the game instead of their phone but also distracting the players? It’s most likely to be all of the above. But does it even matter?

Whatever the reasons may be, how can you ‘ban’ something that is legally available to the public and is socially encouraged?

The idea behind these apps is that, business aside, they’ve been made to better social media, social interaction and networking. So as a product and service, they’re almost ‘too disruptive’ because they cause complications for already well-established industries, leaving governing bodies only one choice: to ban the use of these apps to protect their TV deals and reputations.

But is it really a huge problem? Do those that ‘ban’ these apps think that enough people are going to tune in to somebody’s shaky, handheld Periscope video, with vertical coverage of a hockey playoff game, or a boxing match from a fairly poor viewpoint?

As well as comparatively bad coverage, the cameras, replays and commentary happening on top rate sports broadcasting channels all provide those vital, in-game, details, and in their own industry they are second to none, using features such as the SkyCam and HD slow motion replays. Can you imagine a football match without watching the goal or the red card tackle again in replay?

It’s uncertain how the live streaming app market will develop, and how their relationships with related industries will work. But it looks like they could be here to stay, if they’re allowed!

April 17, 2015Published by: Sharmin Cheema-Kelly

Ofcom considers deregulation to take growing power of internet into account

The shift to digital in recent years has meant an uphill challenge for British communications regulator, Ofcom, as it seeks to adapt its own regulations to the changing media and telecoms landscape.

Credit: Ofcom

Picture Credit: Ofcom

In her first interview since being appointed as Ofcom's chief in December, Sharon White said that deregulation and a lighter approach needs to be considered to reflect the tectonic shifts in how people read and watch content, as well as talk.

Ofcom has just begun its first review of the British communications market in a decade to take into account the burgeoning impact of the internet, and whether market definitions and regulations need to be redrawn. Ofcom would also need to consider the intersection and blurring distinctions between traditional telecom and media companies.

Live streaming services such as Meerkat and Periscope both present a challenge to the paid-TV world especially with the increasing costs of football rights, for example. While Ofcom traditionally appointed the Advertising Standard Authority (ASA) to regulate broadcast advertisements on its behalf, YouTube advertising also falls under the ASA's jurisdiction - the roles both perform and the areas overseen need to be made clearer in this era of greater convergence.

Ten years after its last review and in the age of the internet, the time is now ripe for Ofcom to reconsider regulations especially when changes are unprecedented and happen at much greater speed. It's exciting times ahead for the tech, media, and communications industries and we can't wait to see what happens next.

 


March 31, 2015Published by: Drew

Live streaming services Meerkat and Periscope woo influencers, brands and the media

courtesy of the BBC

The BBC's Meerkat stream from coverage of the Ferguson protests, from the BBC's College of Journalism Blog

Live streaming video is a red hot area in social media right now. Last week Twitter launched Periscope, and at the beginning of March Meerkat opened up for business. Also since then, Meerkat landed $14m in funding from VCs and individuals including Universal Music Group, Jared Leto, David Tisch and Chad Hurley.

What's interesting to us here is a couple of factors: firstly that Meerkat and Periscope are making a bigger impact because they are here at the same time, and how the two services are being used by the media, high profile individuals and brands, ie not just by any old user, but influential users that are tapping into large audiences from the beginning. That presents a big opportunity.

Brands, influencers and media outlets have been bold in their rapid pickup of Meerkat and Periscope. We've seen some nice examples (and a load of curious ones - namely #fridgeview). Here's a run down of the more notable ones:

This article in BGR looks at Meerkat and Periscope's impact, in particular that it's not one of the top apps at all - but rather just with early adopters and the media. And that's how Instagram and Twitter started.

We're fans of video in general here at Battenhall, so it should be no surprise at all that we're fans of both Periscope and Meerkat. For what it's worth, Meerkat pips Periscope for my coveted prize of which one is best, because of the interaction you get with viewers.

Tomorrow marks the start of VEDA (Vlogging Every Day in April) and specifically BattenVEDA, which you can read about and get involved with here. Happy vlogging!