In the last month, live broadcasting apps Meerkat and Periscope have been the hot topic of discussion. While live streams and real time broadcasts have been used for years, the emergence of these apps have made the topic exiting again notably because they are ubiquitous to smart devices and social media.
Both apps have achieved high levels of adoption in a short period, and surprisingly provide a high quality, and stable stream.
Now that live streaming has hit the mass market with high rates of adoption, brands are scrambling to test these waters to see if there is value in this niche for their social audiences.
Before we look at the use cases that radio brands can experience with these apps, here’s some background information.
What is it?
Meerkat and Periscope are live video streaming applications that allow users to post real-time video streams to their Twitter accounts directly from their smart phone.
Why is this important?
Until recently, video streaming has been cumbersome and has never been friendly for smart phone users. For the first time we can live stream everything we are doing throughout the day, and have an audience to go with it. With the ever-growing demand for video and its impact on social media, it’s only natural that live streaming is the next progression in instant communication. The only problem is finding its place in a noisy market.
How does it work?
- Both apps have the same primary function which is to stream a live broadcast from a mobile device’s camera directly to a Twitter user’s followers.
- Followers can then tune-in and listen and can choose to interact by commenting, liking and sharing the broadcasts with their own followers.
- While streamers can broadcast whatever they want, the distinctive value in this is the ability to share a unique moment with their audience. Hence, why “behind the scenes” streaming has been such hit.
So how can radio brands use live video streaming?
Showcase the culture at the station
Radio has opportunities to show off the station to its viewers. This could include the day-to-day and behind the scene activities that station staff, hosts, and producers go through to put on a radio program. Users can live stream staff promotions, station milestones, or even introduce the new intern.
Brands can take it further and broadcast their pre-show prep routine or the subtle mini-conversations in the booth among hosts during a commercial break.
We all know radio is about the on-air talent, so brands can capitalize on these apps by showing the raw, uncut footage that the on-air talent go through when they are live in the studio or fooling around.
Deeper engagement with fans
Digitally enabled radio brands know that they have to communicate with their audiences and share their content on social media. Now they can further extend that communication by opening up a window into their world. As streamers are more likely to be P1 members, there is a tremendous value in creating broadcasts that engage them during or after live sets.
Radio brands can create broadcast-specific contests and promotions, take requests during the break, or shoot-out rapid fire poles that go live after the commercials. There are some really interesting opportunities in this space, and creative radio brands will be able to find an audience that demands the instant communication needs of today’s generation. Q&A sessions with on-air talent and their audience can strengthen the relationship with listeners and their favorite radio brand by getting to know the “real” talent.
Sneak Peek into to live events
Both Meerkat and Periscope’s most attributed value is being able to share a point of view from “behind the scenes”. This is great for radio brands that are in the studio live with a musician or guest, where they can broadcast a performance or ask questions live from their feeds and give responses back in real-time to their streamers. This is perfect for conducting interviews during talk radio, where the audience can ask the questions and a host can simply act as a moderator. It’s faster than calling-in and tweeting if you think about it and leaves email looking like a dial-up internet.
Brands that cover concerts, events, and red carpet shows, can further enhance the experience across all touch-points by streaming these events directly to their listeners, and providing them with a point-of-view that is raw, uncut and non-editable.
Will these apps be disruptive for radio brands?
Many radio presenters and personalities have started to adapt to this service as an outlet to connect with their audience members. As the apps are still very new, it will be interesting to see how radio can use the additional channel to grow their listenership and perhaps uncover a creative new revenue stream. One thing is for certain, people love knowing the real deal, and live broadcasting might be the way to establish stronger bonds with listeners by providing them with the transparency they’ve been craving.
Let us know what you think of this topic and if you've tried Meerkat & Periscope for radio.
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