Disclosure: I own less than 500 shares each of Twitter, Yahoo, and Aol stock.
Get ready for a new live streaming metric: Content years. Periscope CEO Kayvon Beykpour took the stage today at the Code conference in Southern California and announced that Periscope users have watched 380 years of content since it launched 8 weeks ago, averaging about 6.7 years of content per day. Beykpour said that 10 years of content is watched per day currently.
For comparison, YouTube Content ID scans over 100 years of video per day, but there is no detail on how much of that is live. Beykpour did not differentiate between live and rebroadcast content hours when he announced Periscope’s numbers.
The big question with live streaming is how good, how “watch worthy” is that content? And much of that is contingent on who is creating it. “The beauty of Periscope is that we have the spectrum, celebrities, Oprah, journalists covering Nepal and Baltimore and somebody doing something random,” Beykpour responded, when Kara Swisher asked whether Periscope would be a “flash in the pan.”
When asked about the controversy surrounding the Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao fight, Costolo likened Periscope’s effect on live events to that of fantasy sports on live sports. In his opinion it will ‘surround and amplify’ those events, rather than enable piracy or theft. He wished he had put more context around his tweet about the fight: “And the winner is… @periscopeco.”
“In retrospect would it have been nice to put more context in, sure,” Costolo said. “That’s the whole issue with Twitter I think,” Swisher responded.
Beykpour and Costolo also touched briefly on possible Periscope monetization, to confirm that they are not thinking about it at the moment, “We’re barely scratching the surface on things we want to do to sustain our vision. However I am not a fan of pre-roll ads on live video,” Beykpour said. Well, who is?
Twitter bought Periscope for less than $100m in January, but announced the deal and launched the app in March, after another live streaming app Meerkat started gaining traction. Months later, after quite a bit of hype and subsequent launches on Android, Periscope is at number 103 in the iOS app store, and Meerkat isn’t even registering on the top iOS charts.
Does that mean that Periscope has won? Well, it still has to beat Yahoo Mail and it is nowhere near Vine in overall app store rankings.
At last count Vine was at 40 million registered users. But it doesn’t announce actives and neither has Periscope. Costolo and Beykpour said nothing about Periscope registered users while onstage.
Costolo revealed some macro thinking around Twitter’s acquisition strategy, having now acquired two mobile video apps before their launches, “There are all sorts of native mobile content creation platforms,” he said. “I want [Twitter] to have a variety of these [apps] that content creators can use, particularly around events and moments.”
Better phone cameras and bandwidth have led to easier consumption of web video, and better web video quality. Whether they’ve also led to more people wanting to watch web video remains to be seen. Literally.