A Puddle on Periscope Rocks the TV World

It began yesterday morning, with a Twitter observation by Politico’s deputy media editor, Alex Weprin, regarding livestreaming app Periscope.

Live video of members of the general public interacting with a large pool of water in the UK had gained a larger share of simultaneous viewers than many major cable networks.

In total, more than 547,000 viewers tuned in to look at the feed, broadcast by Drummond Central, a marketing firm in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

This should raise eyebrows.

"We were watching the puddle ourselves and laughing at all the people trying to get around it. Then someone came up with the idea of putting it on Periscope, something we've been playing around with recently,” said Richard Rippon, Drummond Central social media manager.

"It's just car crash TV,” added Drummond creative head Gareth Wood. “You don't know why you're watching it but you can't pull yourself away.

For 2015, Periscope (which we have covered previously) was voted the Apple App Store App of the Year. Last October, the company revealed that it would be launching on Apple TV.

“As live television becomes more and more produced, it can also become less genuine,” Periscope wrote on Medium. “This is what excites us about bringing Periscope to the Apple TV — the notion that you, your friends and family, can share what’s happening in the world right now, together.”

In a Huffington Post editorial, writer Danielle James describes the app as “the new TV,” emphasizing its ability to create and establish communities.

“TV is something that has happened in the past, something that has been prepared in advance. Periscope is life, real things, real places, with real people,” James writes.

When something that seems so minor, like a puddle on the Internet, has the power to attract an average viewership that is higher than television networks, it’s a cause for pause.

If Periscope users and other livestreamers find a way to monetize their content, it could certainly make an impact.

You can find Periscope on Android and iOS.

Author: Brian Cameron

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