Late last week Twitter launched Periscope, its answer to video streaming app Meerkat, and brands wasted no time trying out the new technology.
Periscope early adopters Mountain Dew and Spotify both wanted to use the app’s livestreaming capabilities to make a more personal connection with fans. Spotify used Periscope to broadcast an impromptu concert with Connor O’Brien of the band Villagers, while Mountain Dew opted for a shorter, Vine-style video showing off the brand’s “swag.”
Periscope helps brands deliver a mobile-first message to fans looking for longer-form video content than what currently exists on other social channels. “Spotify is all about connecting and bringing fans behind the scenes,” Josh Karph, global director of social marketing for Spotify, says. “Periscope is mobile-first, which is the first screen for our audience, and it presents a lot of really interesting opportunity for us. There’s a certain liveness to it that really helps us to connect people in a new way.”
Spotify’s impromptu jam session with Villagers seems to have paid off. “We had 380 or so live viewers and about 1,500 hearts on the stream,” Karph says. “On the replay we had another 200 or so. We’re still looking at how the replay streams work and how quickly they get updated, but it looks like the total is about 450 or 500 people who viewed it.”
Mountain Dew used its first experiment with Periscope as a way to engage and reward Twitter followers by sending free merchandise to followers who interacted with the stream. “[In the video] we showcased Mountain Dew swag like hats and T-shirts,” says Christine Ngo, who leads digital marketing at Mountain Dew. “Of the many fans who liked/commented on our Periscope stream, we surprised a few fans and will be sending them some cool Mountain Dew gear.”
Since yesterday’s launch, critics have begun to compare Periscope to Meerkat, which debuted a few weeks ago at SXSW, wondering if the world really needs two livestreaming apps. But Karph says that Spotify will definitely continue to experiment with both.
“I think we’ll certainly experiment,” Karph says. “It’s too early to determine one or the other. Meerkat is weeks old and Periscope is not even 48 hours old, but I think that livestreaming has potential. It’s a really interesting channel for people to connect to each other and brands to connect with consumers. We as a company will continue to experiment to figure out the value of one over the other.”
And while Mountain Dew hasn’t used Meerkat yet, the brand isn’t ruling it out. “We are looking into using Meerkat as well,” Ngo says. “We are always experimenting with every platform to make sure that we constantly have an open dialogue with our fans.”
According to Karph, as brands settle in to Periscope, interactions will probably become less impromptu. “Like any app in its early days people are experimenting with it and ultimately the people with really interesting content will rise to the top and build an audience. Over time as we figure out our story that we want to tell absolutely we will schedule our content.”
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