While the boxing industry made it clear it was stuck in the previous decade this weekend – installing a $100 paywall for the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight without offering an online alternative– viewers were tuning into the lower quality version on Periscope. Almost on queue to showcase the futility of clinging to an outdated system, Pay-Per-View orders failed on the big night. And those who had purchased cable joined the holdouts in searching for versions broadcast on Periscope and Meerkat.
Perhaps even more surprising: Twitter CEO Dick Costolo did not make a statement condemning the illegal live streams. In fact, Costolo tweeted “And the winner is @periscopeco”. Periscope and Meerkat reportedly attempts to shut down live streams, but their short lives – 24 hours on Periscope and no life after broadcast on Meerkat – posed difficulties.
Perhaps while the world is waiting for a desktop-first online video company to disrupt television, mobile broadcasting will be TV’s first fierce competition. L2’s Mobile Social Platforms study cites that over 80% of active social users worldwide are accessing social platforms through their mobile devices, and brand participation is high on mobile-first platforms such as Twitter and Instagram. As brands increase their mobile ad budgets, social platforms without a strong mobile platform (YouTube, Sina Weibo) struggle.
Illustrating the appetite for mobile video platforms, adoption of Periscope has been incredibly fast by brands and users. Since its launch on March 23, 4% of the 382 brands featured in L2’s Social Platforms study have used Twitter to promote a Periscope broadcast.