In an announcement made today, Twitter’s Australian Head of Music, Jennie Sager, said that Periscope streams more than 40 years of content every single day. That’s some seriously impressive growth considering that the service, which is now owned by Twitter and used within its app, is still yet to reach its first birthday. First launched on March 26th last year, Periscope was downloaded 1 million times the day after it debuted and appears to have grown organically since then.
So, what does any of that have to do with music? As it turns out, musicians have taken to Periscope like fish to water. Used by many to communicate directly with fans from tour buses and backstage, the platform allows artists to have a more intimate dialogue with the people who come to their shows and buy their music. Now, the service is being approached by musicians before they go on tour to help them develop Periscope campaigns. It makes sense seeing as music is tipped as the number-one conversation driver by the people over at Twitter and Periscope.
One such musician with a fondness for Periscope it literal Queen Erykah Badu, who used the platform in November last year to shoot a music video in real time.
Oops a leak .
Second single from mix tape tomorrow
Creating live video in real time on PERISCOPE
— ErykahBadoula (@fatbellybella) November 5, 2015
It’s certainly opposite to the concerns expressed when the platform initially launched last year. Speaking on a panel at SXSW called Music and Tech: Why Can’t We Be Friends? Sager said, “When Periscope first came out the reaction was, ‘This is gonna be really bad for the music industry… We never intended it to [be used to] live stream shows. Artists are using it to broadcast the moment before they go on stage, or what’s happening on the tour bus. It’s a different way for artists to communicate with fans on a different level.”
Whether or not Periscope and its competitors are essentially platforms for piracy remains somewhat of a grey area. They’re not necessarily designed to be, but they have certainly been used to share intellectual and creative property in a pirated sense, which was addressed by the CEO of Periscope, Kayvon Beykpour, last year following the Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather fight. Beykpour said at the time that he doesn’t support piracy but that Periscope couldn’t be blamed for it either.
During the panel, Sager went on to add that in the end, the industry had to embrace it because, as with many services and platforms that have threatened the music industry before Periscope and its competitors, there wasn’t going to be any way to stop them. Sounds a bit like piracy to us…
Image: Social Media Week