Guest Post by Karol Severin on Midia
Interactive live broadcasting platforms like Periscope and Meerkat are ideal tools to make superfans out of fans. Live streaming services can provide a live one-to-one communication at scale. The appeal of these services isn’t only about streaming or broadcasting live from anywhere. Perhaps the more important part for fan-supported stakeholders is the fact that users can be in a celebrity’s living room, smother it in virtual hearts, and type questions, which actually might get answered by the celebrity. A very personal experience. These platforms are ideal for any artist, content creator or celebrity looking to hone their public relations and build fan loyalty.
A review of the celebrities using Periscope in March and today shows celebrities, especially in the US, are quickly embracing these channels. But there is still a vast swathe of content creators with existing fan bases who are not using live streaming platforms and who would benefit from doing so. This applies doubly to medium and smaller size artists/creators, for whom converting even only few hundred fans to superfans (and eventually spenders) would make an even more substantial difference towards making ends meet.
Although an increasing amount of celebrities are appearing on these platforms, it is an incomparably smaller number than on other commonly used platforms like Facebook or Instagram. Indeed, Meerkat and Periscope together only have 2.4 million daily active users. The smallish size is likely one of the reasons why some content creators still stay away. But in a sense that’s where a big part of the added value sits. The point of interactive live broadcast is not to tap into audiences who ‘wait around on periscope for content’ but instead use current social channels to direct existing fans to this still innovative and above all personal experience. In other words, User Generated Broadcast platforms shouldn’t be viewed as means to find new audiences, but mainly to nurture and develop existing ones into superfans.
Furthermore, although number of users is an important metric in the tech world, future superfans would ironically rather engage with a streaming celebrity with less people in the session because it increases their chances for interaction and therefore increases the perceived value which they can take away from the experience.
The earlier that creators jump on board, the longer will be the length of time that they’ll be able to benefit. Early creators will gain from the marketing value of interactive live broadcast being ‘new’ in the eyes of fans, before it becomes an ‘everyday routine’ used by all. At that point late adopting creators/celebrities will have to play catch up in an increasingly crowded environment and face increased competition for a share of consumers’ stream time. Facebook’s recent announcement of live video streaming will bring that moment a lot closer to reality. The window on offering fans an innovative engagement opportunity before they start expecting it from you, will start to close soon.