‘Periscope Producer’ — What is it and why it’s BIG for the app & content creators!

Today Periscope announced ‘Periscope Producer’. A new way to broadcast on the Twitter owned live streaming platform, and one that I believe opens the doors of possibility and creativity for content on the app.

Some examples of my Periscope Producer broadcasts

When Periscope first started, one of it’s biggest limitations was that you had to broadcast from your smartphone. The San Fransisco based team then quickly added the ability to go live from GoPro devices, which brought a plethora of new & creative action sport content. They did the same some months later by integrating DJI Drones, allowing broadcasters to share some of the most spectacular ariel views in real-time. But until today, there’s been no real way of creating content with high production values for this platform.

Periscope Producer changes this. The new function allows you to create ‘Studio Quality’ broadcasts by using ‘any external video source to connect with the Periscope network’. Laptops, vision switchers, encoders, phones etc. Periscope can now accept streams from pretty much anything capable of RTMP (Real-Time Messaging Protocol). This new feature importantly allows broadcasters to create higher quality streams, both visually and also in terms of content and entertainment. It finally gives people the toolbox they need to be extremely creative with their content. We’re going to start seeing the use of multiple cameras, on-screen graphics, external videos, live Skype calls, and lots more, all being brought into a live Periscope stream.

As a live streaming consultant and a broadcaster who likes to push the creative boundaries, I was asked to beta test Periscope Producer during it’s development. I started off by upping the production value of my daily tech show (Today’s Tech News) by adding an on screen banner and experimenting with pre-recorded video’s to help emphases what I was talking about. Here’s an example:

By using a free software like OBS and combining it with Periscope Producer, I was now able to create these simple daily tech broadcasts that had an ‘edge’ and ‘gloss’ previously unseen on Periscope. But I quickly realised that what we make with this new broadcast tool, is completely dependant on the broadcasters creativity. All the tools are in the tool bag, now it’s up to you to build something great. So I decided to create a totally new format never seen before on Periscope. “Snapchat Roulette”. The idea is simple, I use OBS and Periscope Producer to display my phone screen live on Periscope while also having a camera on my face at all time. I then open my Snapchat’s Live on Periscope. Risky… Yes, Raw…Yes, but that’s the nature of app. Real time, Interactive and Raw. I wanted to create a engaging broadcast where someone on the other side of the world could record a 10 second video, send it to me, and then see it broadcasts to thousands around the globe moments later. So that’s what I did, and 75,0000 people worldwide loved it!

So I think you can see from the above why I feel that this is BIG news for creators on the platform. To sum it up though: Now if you can dream it, you have the tools to create it. The possibility to create high quality live productions is now a reality on Periscope.

But why do I feel this new feature is BIG news for the app itself?

“Periscope allows anyone to watch something with an audience, and now they’re able to watch daily shows, large and small-scale events and other live video with compelling content from creators they know and love. High-quality, produced live video can now be shared anywhere through a Tweet.”
Kayvon Beykpour, CEO of Periscope

Periscope has been facing a ‘needle in a haystack’ problem. The app is only as good as the content that people put on it. The truth of the matter is, creating compelling live content isn’t easy for the every day person! While Periscope has provided some of the most incredible and gripping content I’ve ever watched, a high proportion of broadcasts on the app just aren’t interesting. Until recently, finding good content on the app was difficult, and so giving new users an excuse to keep coming back to the app was hard too. But together with Periscope Producer and improved in-app discovery, I think Periscope are on the path to turning this around. 
Professional Broadcasters (the NBC Universals, The Sky News’s, The Walt Disney Studios etc) know how to create compelling content. They do it every day for millions around the world. Arming these professional with the tools they need to start creating the same quality broadcasts on Periscope will mean more ‘great content’ on the app. The hope will be that surfacing this type of content to general Periscope users will encourage them to use the app more regularly (and help with the signal to noise issues that Periscope can sometimes have). More great broadcasts = More reason to open the app.

But traditional broadcasters BE AWARE! You’re going to be tempted to just pump what you put on TV over to Periscope too. DON’T. There’s nothing impressive about that. This app is about real-time interaction! People watch Periscope broadcasts for the ability to interact and TALK TO YOU. The professional broadcasters that succeed with Periscope Producer will be the ones who use the technology to create interactive programming where the audience feel a part of the stream. Not a viewer, but a contributor.

Want Periscope Producer?

Periscope Producer is available to select Twitter brand partners, media organizations and live video creators. Partners interested in setting this up can learn more by speaking with their Twitter representative and applying at t.co/periscopeproducer.

Need help with Periscope Producer?

Check out my Periscope Producer Webinar (webinar.alex.live)to help you get started:

Hit me up on Twitter @AlexPettitt. You can also check out more of my Periscope Producer broadcasts on @AlexPettitt. Or to get in contact with me to discuss more, visit: contact.alex.live

Thanks for Reading :) Alex