Despite the impressive milestone, Kayvon Beykpour the company’s CEO, said during a live stream last night (12 August), that Periscope is not focused on attracting more users or downloads, and is instead judging success on engagement.
Periscope measures that through “time watched”, with users now viewing more than 40 years of video every day just from its iOS and Android apps.
“Lots of people have never heard of this metric but its unique to the type of product we have. Time watched is most reflective of the value people are getting out of Periscope – it illustrates whether people like it and are engaged in using Periscope,” he said.
He went on to add that the metric measures whether the service is working for the two types of people that use Periscope – broadcasters and the audience.
“Broadcasters want to reach a wide audience so the more people are watching the more success. And the audience wants to have great Periscope broadcast content in their feed, stuff they like watching. There is harmony over how Periscopers get value and how we measure success,” he explained.
Periscope for brands
Many brands including EasyJet, Starbucks and M&S have already started using Periscope. For EasyJet it is a way to keep customers updated on flight delays, while Ministry of Sound is using it to stream live broadcasts of sets from its clubs and launch events.
Beykpour said Periscope is making use of its parent company Twitter’s “great relationships” with media companies and users with verified Twitter accounts. However there is currently no plan in place to start monetising Periscope, although he did say the company is looking at how it can share data on who is watching or following their accounts.
“Advertising is nowhere near on the top of our minds,” he said. “Its not even in the backburners of our minds.”
He also ruled out any big marketing campaigns for Periscope, unlike its owner Twitter which as promised an above-the-line campaign before the end of the year.
“As far as a traditional marketing campaign where we spend money on advertising, we are not focused on that. Investing in marketing doesn’t increase the metric we care most about – time watched. If we invest in marketing we’d get new downloads but all those people could create an account, watch a two second broadcast and then leave,” he said.
Instead the focus for Periscope remains on developing its product. Beykpour promised improvements to search as well as its maps feature, which shows where users are broadcasting from.
Facebook muscles in on video streaming
Periscope is not the only company in the live video streaming space. Rival Meerkat last updated numbers in May, when it had 2 million registered users, suggesting Periscope has prospered under the ownership of Twitter, with Beykpour saying it has thrown “tremendous support” at the service.
Facebook is also moving into the space having launched its own service a couple of months ago. Having initially only been available to celebrities, Facebook is now opening it up to anyone with a verified account, including journalists.