Piqué and his Periscope: how live streaming is changing media relations
On March 26th 2015 an App called Periscope was officially launched. A year later, there is what would correspond to 110 years of live video being watched every day through this same App. The leading App in video streaming has already reached more than 10 million users, has resulted in more than 200 million releases and has received Apple’s award as “App of the Year”. Periscope, acquired by Twitter, has entered our lives and looks like it’s here to stay although it’s not the only available option. Other Apps such as Meerkat are also trying to join the fray while Facebook’s Live has already reached Europe after a few successful trial months in the US.
But… are we living a temporary trend or will this really change the future of communication? Will the way we provide services to our clients change? Should brands already have this content integrated into their communications plans? Here in Etcétera we analyse the present and the future of streaming video Apps.
The power of the microphone
Currently, we live immersed in the digital era, a world 2.0 where the use of social media is mainstream. Content is 100% accessible and without filters, absolutely uncontrollable, and for that reason unfortunately we’re starting to read headlines like A young woman shocks the world by transmitting her suicide through Periscope. The media has spent years trying to make the Internet profitable and moulding their work processes to avoid falling behind, but up until now they had an advantage: the microphone. Any important figure or brand has always had to go through the filter of the media to be able to broadcast their message while journalists, have looked for exclusivity and immediacy. But today, we are all content creators and with Periscope and other Apps like these the term you no longer need to be a media group to be able to broadcast live, ordinary citizens have acquired a new dimension and power.
A new approach to the news
Popular media figures doesn’t need to arrange an interview anymore, as he or she creates content and the media uses that content (Piqué and his Periscope have filled hundreds of hours of news). Any conference or event can be seen through streaming without the need for any media to cover it, and additionally, we have all become correspondents, given that a journalist will rarely be the first one to arrive to the scene. A good example of this is the case of Leticia Rodriguez, a Catalan influencer who was at Brussels Airport when the recent attacks occurred, and she transmitted through Periscope and Twitter everything that was happening. Finally, she came to be the best reporter of what happened for Catalan radio RAC1, thanks to presenter Jordi Basté who realized and contacted her. Her testimony even reached the BBC.
Leticia Rodríguez broadcast the attacks on Brussels through Twitter and Periscope
Candy for brands
Brands simply can’t afford not to be present on Periscope. Periscope provides them with a clear path to reach immediately and directly a broad and receptive audience. Without filters, providing proximity with the audience, without limits and with the credibility that something live generates.
Up until now the “behind the scenes” has been, for example, a very used resource, edited and decontextualized in time. With Periscope, streaming videos comes to the era of “in front of the scenes” in which a user interacts with the brand and the event in real-time.
Content is created by the character, who is already a brand
As ever, the world of sports can be a clear benchmark of how new trends are penetrating. In Spain, Periscope has a close relationship with football. Well-advised players such as Gerard Piqué or the Frenchman Paul Pogba have opened the locker room doors. As always, the NBA or NFL have been ahead for years, but something is changing on a global scale. Football clubs have gone from taking journalists with them as if they were part of the staff to kicking them out even from training sessions. They changed the complicity they had with different TV stations to create their own TV channels and media. They have a double objective: absolute control of all the messages and the exploitation of image copyrights for their own interests.
In this scenario, access to quality information and content is almost impossible for most journalists and it’s been the players themselves that have been the ones who’ve broken the mould. Piqué and his Periscope have culminated a process that started with the arrival of social media. Now, contents are created by the individual sports celebrities who do and say as they pleases without consulting anyone, and are themselves a “brand”. In parallel the media has discovered a new source of content but it’s one they don’t control.
Can you imagine Barcelona or Madrid’s locker rooms like this? View the video here.
So what next?
Even in the era of live streaming the day still only has 24 hours and a normal human being doesn’t have time to sort out all these live inputs which the media will have to exploit using their reflective and systemizing abilities. That is to say, organizing and choosing content that can be of interest to the audience, to get them involved in loyalty programs while recuperating good quality journalism; profound and analytical, providing added value.
Content creation now concerns us all, anyone can be a star in anonymity or broadcast a message in a fast and easy way, while the word “immediacy” has acquired a new dimension. Periscope is proving to be a very powerful social tool, and marketing experts are using it in innovative ways to grow businesses of all sizes and across all sectors.
Periscope can end up being a passing fad, but the change in the media is a reality and PR agencies need to adapt. As highlighted in our last post we are in the era of real-time public relations. If journalists change their approach to news we must be able to propose actions and content adapted to their new panorama. Agencies have to convince themselves and convince brands to integrate these new actions in their plans. If the future affects the media it also influences the PR agencies, which must adapt their services to new times as well as the way they interact with the journalists.