It’s getting easier to make ephemeral video permanent.
Glow, a New York-based digital agency, today introduced a tool that enables people to record scheduled video streams on Meerkat. It works on MeerkatStreams.com, a content hub Glow launched on March 3 that aggregates live video streams from the Meerkat app. The site now enables users to record upcoming streams they discover through the site, saving them for later playback.
“Live content is evolving and audiences are growing, so it made sense to build a DVR-like tool to capture these streams,” said Peter Levin, CEO of Glow.
Glow built both MeerkatStreams.com and OnPeriscope.com, which surface content from both Meerkat and Twitter-owned Periscope. The two live-streaming video apps have already captured the imagination of brands and agencies looking to experiment with new marketing strategies that integrate live digital video. JC Penney roped in Eva Longoria to host Periscope Q&As, while automakers from Jaguar to Toyota used Meerkat and Periscope to unveil new cars.
“I think we’re all tired of doing the rounds on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat,” said Levin. “It’s been a good shot in the arm for our industry.”
Glow envisions its Meerkat and Periscope hubs as a YouTube for live video content, which could attract brand dollars if their audiences grow large enough. They’ve jointly driven more than 250,000 video views so far, said Levin.
“We’re thinking about how we can turn this into a premium product for brands to use to track live events,” said Levin, whose clients include HBO, Cinemax and Syfy. “We’re still trying to flesh out those ideas, but our clients are looking to use these platforms in interesting ways, and more opportunities appear every day.”
Katch already offers a way for Meerkat streamers to auto-record and upload their videos to YouTube, but Glow’s tool enables users to make the decision whether to record an upcoming stream. Presently, there’s no way for streamers to know whether a user is recording a video, but that’s a feature Glow has on its list. “But if you really don’t want to be recorded, it’s not the medium you want to be in,” said Levin.
Ephemeral media is sliding toward permanence beyond just on Meerkat. Snapchat, a media empire built on disappearing images, now offers “stories” that last for 24 hours and “discover” news content. And those are cross-platform features: Publishers such as CollegeHumor post “stories” to other social platforms for further consumption, and that “discover” content already comes from other media outlets.
“The whole problem with ephemerality is that it’s enormously difficult to build a business around,” said Jan Dawson, chief analyst at Jackdaw Research. “And almost all user-generated content businesses eventually migrate to higher quality and ultimately professional content in order to make money through advertising or subscriptions. There will always be an appeal with ephemeral apps, but at the same time, products which make the ephemeral permanent are always going to go hand in hand with them.”