In the live-stream app race, two of the industry’s newest players have emerged as leaders: Periscope and Meerkat.

Both allow users to film and share content in real time via a mobile device with anyone who has downloaded their free app.

Shortly after Meerkat launched in late February, Twitter responded by shutting off Meerkat’s access to its social graph and launching Periscope, which it had purchased a month earlier for $100 million. So began the battle for live-streaming dominance.

The biggest difference between the two is their vehicle of choice for social growth.

Periscope users can tap into their existing Twitter follower network. Meerkat users can sign up with their Facebook account, but the real-time flow of Twitter seems to give Periscope an advantage.

To make things worse for Meerkat, on August 5, Facebook launched Live, its own live-streaming service. This move could potentially edge Meerkat out of the game, but only time will tell whether it can put forward enough new features to continue as a competitor.

Another notable difference between the services is that Periscope users have a 24-hour window to view a stream, while Meerkat does not archive streams. Though some consider this ‘now or never’ feature to be a hindrance, the ephemeral messaging is certainly on-trend, a nod to Snapchat’s success.

A recent blog post by Periscope announced that more than 10 million people have created Periscope accounts since its launch in late March, and that nearly 2 million people use the app every day, watching approximately 40 years worth of live video every day.

Keyhole blog reports that in one week, 59% of Meerkat users shared a single video on Twitter, while 57% of Periscope users shared multiple videos — suggesting a user preference of Periscope over Meerkat.

Today, Periscope and Meerkat are free apps and neither is experimenting with paid advertising.  But with online video advertising projected to be a $17 billion opportunity in the U.S. alone, this is likely to change.

Only a few brands to date have fully embraced live streaming, even though Nestle, Red Bull, Burberry, Mountain Dew, and many others have experimented with the platform.

T-Mobile has been a pioneer in using the platform and broadcasts almost daily on Periscope. Streams show demonstrations of new phones and features as well as live Q&As with CEO John Legere. In a recent broadcast, Legere recapped an eventful week for T-Mobile while jogging through Central Park.


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