Are Periscope and Meerkat changing the broadcasting industry?

Many moons ago, producing video for others to watch remotely was something that required training – knowledge of how to operate complex camera equipment, all manner of leads and wires, and reliable editing software.

Now however, following the advent of social media and the boom in personal tech, like smartphones and tablets, the ability to record and broadcast live to the internet has never been easier.

For those of you who’ve come to this article in hope of find out a bit more about its alluding title, here it is. Periscope (owned by Twitter) and Meerkat are smartphone apps, available to download for free, that allow you to record video and broadcast it live to the web.

The startup kit

Providing you’ve got access to a reliable internet connection, you can broadcast to the likes of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and follow how your watchers are reacting in real time via live commenting. The live element of the broadcast provides so much more scope for both parties, allowing interactivity and personal engagement.

Both apps are quickly putting the broadcasting industry on its head, much to the dismay of those who have collected decades of experience, now to be shunned aside by a teenager with an iPhone. But it’s not all exactly above board…

What does the law say?

Broadcasting companies buy the rights to host the coverage of events and popular shows. And as you can probably imagine, premium services aren’t going to be happy if you’re streaming their content for other to watch for free.

This famously happened when the fifth season of Game of Thrones hit the screens, with Persicope users taking to the internet with their smartphones pointed at the television sets.

Shortly after that GoT incident, HBO saw around 10,000 people enjoying the 2015 Waywaether-Pacquiao fight via live stream, without paying a penny. How naughty.

On the flipside, however, certain acts are encouraging those at their shows to stream away. Katy Perry, for example, is championing the movement.

“You’ve got to embrace the future or you’re left behind,” says Perry. “I’m with it. I think that, when you see a phone, that is like the new applause. So people used to applaud, now the more phones you see, you can just count it as the amount of applause that there would be … I embrace them mostly as long as they’re not obtrusive.”

So it’s not all doom and gloom.

As the services and technology are both growing so rapidly, it’s no surprise that there’s still a huge grey area separating the blunders from the celebrated.

So, in answer to our own question, yes – Meerkat and Periscope are indeed changing the broadcasting industry. For better or for worse, we’ll leave that up to you, but the movement is undeniably pivotal – that’s for sure.

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