What Lies Ahead for Periscope - Monetisation (Part One).

With the recent issues from the fallout of the YouTube demonetisation drama; where talking about certain sensitive topics are discouraged by demonetising a Youtuber's channel. It made me think about the ramifications for Periscopers when it eventually happens to them. I wondered what it would be like if channels on Periscope were being demonetised.

Imagine saying something live that advertisers didn't agree with and they subsequently pulled adverts from your channel instantly. More lovely, juicy, delicious drama local to Periscope!

We know live video isn't the same as edited video. There is actually an extra level of safety for brand collaborations at least on pre-recorded videos (yes advertisers are bailing on YouTube because adverts have been seen against ISIS videos, but how many advertisers knew you could selectively apply who can see your adverts on certain types of content, not many it seems). The stuff managed by bots is a different story.

I'm imagining the outcry from a live-stream, and then witness how quickly the fallout would travel because of the simplicity of informing viewers via live-streams*. A Periscoper would have to be trusted with advertising (I hope), hence the slow rollout of an advertising program by Twitter.

I can see live-streamers changing to conform to the sensibilities of advertisers turning some scopers into daytime television if they haven't already. Maybe scopers will find themselves adhering to guidelines to make sure that happens. I'm also assuming a new approach from Twitter that takes into account more authentic metrics.

Who is Going to Qualify?

Currently only a few accounts can generate revenue from Twitter directly through working with Twitter's advertiser network, Amplify. Only in the US by the way, everybody else will have to wait. It's a first cautious step which harkens back YouTube's rollout (over many years). I'm fine with the pace of the rollout, Twitter should be cautious, because of the nature of instability with live-streaming.

My other thoughts drift to who would actually qualify, (after the celebs and Twitter verified users of course) and whether they are actually worth Amplify's attention (assuming Amplify will be the media handler).

It surprises me from the sentiment expressed in the Periscope slack group and on the platform, that a few scopers expect Periscope to do most of the monetisation work for them. Why is that when it takes less work and less talent to be popular on Periscope compared to YouTube? Don't forget the ease and accessibility with live-streaming, one doesn't have to sit down all day and edit video like YouTubers do, instead scopers can sit down all day and just chat. YouTubers have to fucking grind so much more!

In all sorts of ways because of live-streaming, the bar has been lowered in terms of acquiring an audience, the technical challenges aren't there, the audience is dynamic and current. Do other scopers realise how easy it is compared to YouTubers? That unknowing ease can create a misplaced perception that scopers have talent and a 'value' because they have an audience. 

Some scopers may simply have first mover advantage on Periscope, they may have attractive physical features, or they broadcast so much they gain an audience by default, or they are the only ones broadcasting in their area. People will also watch anything. While it seems I'm making reference to certain scopers, I'm not, I'm just pointing out the minimums to become popular on Periscope. It isn't difficult so if anyone can do it just by putting time into the app, how does a scoper declare themselves a scoper better than the rest?

This leads us to better metrics.

Better Metrics

Periscope have insisted on live views for scopers to determine what is a 'good' scope and a contributing scoper. This is how Periscope allow scopers to become VIPs in the first place; by focusing on live views. On the face of it, live views might sound important in the statistics, but dig deeper and one begins to wonder what is the value for an advertiser if a broadcaster has 30,000 subscribers, only 2-4k in views, with an average watch time of only 20 seconds.

Again, are people being realistic in the face of such metric? Is a scope with a watch time of under a minute worth anything? Are scopers checking their stats? I think 4-5 minutes is the minimum where you can deduce value and expect some kind of payout. Periscope focusing on live views is too simplistic and doesn't inform advertisers of a scoper's ability to keep people's attention would it's worth their while and also sends the wrong signal to scopers that this is what they need to pay attention to!

Importance has to be on replay watch time. Replay watch time isn't something that can be as easily gamed, and YouTube already uses this as one of their most valuable metrics to determine what is or what isn't a good video for the viewer's time and the advertiser's money. An argument can be made for live watch time as well if the tracking of viewers (those viewers who consistently return) is employed, maybe at a severely reduced advertising rate because live view watch times are typically shorter in length because of the sheer number of people coming into a scope live and deciding it isn't for them.

Duh! Don't Wait on Periscope

In the mean time as it will take a while to bring monetisation to the whole Periscope platform, I suggest scopers should seek their own forms of monetisation through PayPal, Patreon or their own merchandise. Especially if they get demonetised for not being PC later on down the road. It's going to happen, I'm not clever in predicting this. I'm just not sleep walking into it. Some YouTubers are currently discovering they shouldn't rely on the YouTube advertising revenue system that provides them with their main source of income, alternative sources of income provides redundancy guys!

If scopers are waiting for Periscope then they are not trying hard enough or thinking in a creative manner, and I would see this as indicator of their general ability to market themselves in the first place, never mind someone else's product! If a scoper can't think to throw out even a PayPal link, then I'm concerned.

If this sounds like I am picking on anybody I'm not trying to. I'm simply trying to point out that scopers shouldn't sit on their hands and wait for something to come to them, they should create their own opportunities instead of waiting to qualify for a native advertising program.

In (a sorta) Conclusion

While I'm concerned about the metrics Twitter/Periscope may employ, I'm more concerned about how we as viewers find entertaining broadcasts. As I write this, Periscope have determined that a 'breathtaking sunset' from Spain and a 'morning walk' in England requires my attention.

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Footnotes

*Its an irony in of itself that Periscope doesn't use Periscope to disseminate information to users of its platform.

If Periscope accounts were monetised, what would the criteria be? Let's take a moment to consider one of the biggest changes to the platform, it changes many things. Importantly, mindsets, some Youtubers currently are considering shutting down their channels because they aren't making money. They are willing to shutter everything considering the out lay in equipment. What is the minimum out lay for a scoper? A smart phone. How flippantly can we be as scopers to the detriment of the platform because our real goal was to make money.

There is already drama on the platform because of the way Periscope can't communicate their efforts clearly without money being involved! Enterprising scopers are finding their own ways which negates the issues raised.

For as little as $1 you can be a patreon and support my writing, podcasting and live-streaming. For a single dollar you'll be given access to limited chat broadcasts (on Periscope) and access to the private patreon blog. Link here

The Rump on Trump

We Still Aren’t Talking to Each Other.

It started with these two tweets that arrived on my timeline earlier this week.

Yes of course people overlooked racism in some form if we are to believe that is the pressing issue. We are self interested creatures. What for a moment if racism isn't everywhere across the United States, but putting food on the table is?

I replied to the second tweet; asking where are the racists shouting from the street that should be upset at Trump for immediately going back on his most infamous campaign promise to ban all Muslims from entering the country? He wants to vet them now, a position other republican candidates took earlier this year. I’m still wondering where the outcries are, they never made it to my twitter feed even when I asked for help on the topic.

Chris Cillizza (@TheFix) is right, it IS counterproductive to state everybody is racist, will fighting racism lead to paying the rent for some people? Sadly no it won't. People vote for priorities, not ideals especially if people aren't the victim of racism. The thing is, there have been people of colour who have voted for Trump.

I don’t like those tweets because they are trying to reduce a complex political outcome to one reason. One reason to explain nearly 60 million reasons for voting for Donald Trump. There is never one reason for anything, so stop it.

It contributes to a lazy mentality that is more likely applicable to a minority of those who voted. The rest of the voting base simply haven’t made it their priority because how do you find time to stamp out racism (which seems like a nebulous idea) compared to getting food on the table and looking after one's family? Hello, we are tribalistic-vote-for-my-team type of creatures!

Don't forget that all the rust belt states that voted for Trump voted FOR President Obama back in 2008 and again in 2012. As Michael Moore stated “Trump’s election is going to be the biggest fuck you ever recorded in human history”. Not a fuck you to racism, a fuck you to the system. Remember these are also the people, the media couldn't even care about, these were the people who were scared to reveal their true voting intentions incase of being labelled a racist. That reads like people were scared because they wouldn't be given a chance to explain themselves to a reasonable level. The progressive left is too quick to judge and castigate.

Labelling those 60 million voters as racists absconds us of any further action on our part because we can pretend there is nothing else to discuss. A nation isn’t going to heal itself without a proper understanding of one another through proper dialogue. Tweets don't mean shit, facebook is a minefield. 

Lets point out, the winners don’t give a fuck what you call them because they won anyway. Second, the progressive left has been calling out anybody for the slightest infraction as racist for what seems like an eternity. The word 'racist' has lost its impact. It doesn’t allow people to think anymore, it’s just another insult/label we’ve over used in our western society. It’s not even a constructive path to get someone on your side.

I'm not asking for an opening of hearts either. Just stop pouring scorn on so many people when you don't really know why they were motivated to vote Trump.

Watching the Young Turks below dismiss States in the lead up to Trump’s election on the night was ridiculous. They literally said, ‘oh have Kentucky, who cares”. They dismissed the first three states that were counting votes. That should have been a sign.

The whole exchange was gross, because of the geographies and its cherry picking towards their candidate. To me that says larger States like California will carry the people forward, we don't need those votes from those people. Those people have become easy to dismiss (just like the media and Hillary did) and we are still doing it. The losers are still dismissing the winners. Nothing is going to change unless people listen and engage.

The other line of reasoning was non-racists voted Hillary, therefore everybody voting Trump is for racism. That’s an igonrant logical fallacy if I’ve ever come across one.

Anyway, having said that, this is the wrong kind of discussion to have period. There are larger ones. Ones that keep us divided as a people. This belief that racism and sexism is running rampant across America can’t be the catch all argument from progressives.

He isn't a Racist

This focus on what Trump says is also harmful, the media ate it up for the past however many years because it brought it a wonderful ratings hit and put Trump inside a narrative that would set him up against Hillary. The media couldn’t stop reporting every single issue he held an opinion on. We all waited for his latest gaff to shoot him in the foot. Nothing happened. I read somewhere “the media took him literally, the people took him seriously”. (Just to note, I googled it afterwards and here is a decent write up on the situation.

Personally I don’t even think Trump is a racist, he’s an old man talking, that’s how they talk, we should focus on how he acts. We are wasting so much time on words instead of actions. Just a note who does he employ? Link 1, link 2, link 3. If anything he's an opportunist. So stop conflating the two.

Comment from Reddit. Ironically from someone calling themselves 'Darth Trump'.

Comment from Reddit. Ironically from someone calling themselves 'Darth Trump'.

A few weeks ago on Periscope I kept using the word ‘midget’ and everybody mentioned that it was wrong, I never knew because I'm not a day-to-day part of western culture. I can say midget all day in Hong Kong, and nobody is going to tell me otherwise, the same perceptions around that word don’t exist. I can also say oriental and nobody will find it offensive. (By the way for the record, it isn’t offensive here).

I’m living in a bubble, cut off from the West. Now imagine Trump’s bubble? He's 70 years old, set in his ways and he’s going to say stupid shit. My grandma said racist words that was part of our everyday language to describe and reference people. It was just a word to describe, not to insult. Was she a racist, by today's standards yes I guess so. The media also weren’t present in front of my grandma by the way taking her out of context either.

Not all Trump Supporters were White

When it comes to racism, the media stoked those flames and took him out of context on a number of occasions especially the 'Mexicans aren’t sending their best'. The media twisted it to make it sound like he disliked all latinos. Follow Red Pill Philosophy on Youtube, he’s a Latino and I’ve been watching him praise Trump throughout the campaign. He’s antagonising, but he’s mostly correct about the things he speaks.

We've seen the muslim woman who voted for Trump as well. Dig deeper you'll find more people of colour who voted for Trump.

But here is the thing, how many of us truly listened to those who opposed our own views and didn’t block them on social media platforms. I’m guilty of this, I block those I didn’t like.

People think I’m Pro-Trump and I know I’ve been blocked, they might have wanted a definitive answer instead of wanting to inquire, misunderstood my tweets because I’m saying we should give Trump a chance. I’m taking Trump seriously as so many people voted for him. Along the way I think we’ve gained an ability to take everybody at face value or suppose rather than ask ‘why?’. As usual we attack first, ask questions later to quote Ron Johnson.

Got to Follow the Law, Let Him Do His Thing or Go Full Godwin's Law

Let the guy take office (that means stop protesting). He’s already on the record for saying that we can throw at him later. Aside from calling Trump supporters racist I’ve seen tweets where we are cherry picking the worst parts of Hitler so they could be applied to Trump. 

People are screaming Hitler and nobody cares! Yet the holocaust is still in living memory! Crazy right? Hitler hasn’t happened yet and when it does I can get involved, but to brandish the incoming government with these traits now is far to early. Save it, otherwise it has no venom for later. Remember, Hitler killed people to get into government. Hillary killed people while IN government. Trump hasn't killed anybody, yet (and I'm talking with the socially acceptable sense like Barack Obama has).

We so desperately want Trump to fit into an established evil man narrative, we don’t want him to be a complex individual, we want him to be a complete Hitler or Emperor Palpatine figure we can dehumanise, or like before he was elected, a complete joke*. Again if we lash out all the time and he has total power in government is he going to act in your favour? Yes ridicule him some more in the hope he changes his ways. That has always worked.

From what I’ve understood, Trump doesn’t want WW3 with Russia and he doesn’t want America to continually police the world and have all its fingers in all the pies. This says a lot about my interests, I care about global issues rather than domestic. I want to see how he plays out on the world stage for everybody's benefit. Aside from WW3 I’m concerned about global warming, let’s see what happens there, especially when China of all nations have called on Trump to get America to do its part.

Second, I’d be more concerned about the people he’s surrounding himself with, all these fucking Republican dicks who were around in the 80’s. Fuck me haven’t they died of old age yet?

Trump is a man with no government experience so he’s going to look towards Newt Gringrich? Fuck me. These are establishment figures. It’s going to be the same old Republican party by the looks of it. Then there is this.

These are the things to get upset about. The best part if there is a positive takeaway, these are issues that both those who voted for and against Trump can take issue with.

Got to let go of what the media and Facebook are doing.

Last but not least (I want to be short on these points), we’ve got to get out of our collective bubbles. This goes back to the first point. Listen to the people we don’t like, ask ourselves why, and also realise we are being manipulated by algorithms (please FB question your influence) on top of news agendas at every turn now. We had the media spin us lies for the past two years on this presidential race, never mind all the other news stories ‘that bleed’.

Look at this piece from The Guardian newspaper.

The issue here isn’t that Trump inherits them, its that ANY incoming President gets their hands on these tools and sets a precedent and example for other countries to do the same. The USA has created the template.

The article focuses solely up Trump inheriting these tools while Obama failed to shut the programs down, would this article have existed under Hillary? I wish I had some sort of device that would let me play out different real life scenarios. Why didn’t people scream absolute bloody murder at Barack Obama for continuing to use them? Those screaming ‘racist’ and ‘Hitler’ at Trump on Twitter didn’t focus on Obama’s administration to the same fervour in my opinion. 

To be fair to the Guardian and the New York Times they have both published 100 articles (can’t go past ten search pages) and 1,573 articles respectively on the topic of drone strikes.

We should have shouter louder at Obama. 

Can we take a minute and remember I think we forgot he was the President when he’s part of pop culture and all those funny meme’s, mic drops and late night chat shows. We humanised him above and beyond Bush and we fucking loved him. But guess who else is part of pop culture with his own fanbase? Some of us saw it coming all along.

Personally I’m exhausted, but it goes on. Just a few tips to leave you with. 

  1. Get off Facebook and the social media sites. Don’t take them seriously, don’t rely on them as a replacement for real discussion, at least you know who you’re responding to and the engagement is true. Also oh my quad!, if you disagree with someone it isn’t the end of the world, that’s life.**

  2. It might help if you also unblock 1 person you disagreed with. Throw them back out there, give them a second chance.

  3. The media haven’t learnt anything, but we can. We have to raise that curtain together. Look at the news the day after when the media had a collective moment to wonder what happened before they went back to business. Did they decide to shine light on the real issue and report the Dakota pipeline protests so we can question government policy? No, they covered the anti-Trump protests so we can mock them.*** Again setting us up against one another, being divisive as usual. They aren’t changing. You change.**** 

  4. The media made some of the biggest fuck ups and nobody has been fired. Think about that.

  5. Stop pointing at the people and expecting them to change, change comes from the top. It’s cliched, but change comes from becoming intolerant of what we are told by the media and government. Hold them to account, not ‘Joe Blow’ as Michael Moore describes.

*Do you remember all the navel gazing we did when it comes to Game of Thrones characters? None of them are really purely evil, and none of them or really purely good. The characters set up in those books are deliberately complex and flawed so we sit and think about what it is to be human. All that flies out of the window when looking at real complex people. I'm interested in why, my current theory is we're prepared to explore the fantasy of others for an hour because we're detached personally from those people and its entertainment. Real life analysis of people isn't as mediative it seems.

**This is the reason why I don’t take Facebook seriously and neither should you. It’s been proven we all get different feeds that provide immediate value for us and sets up echo chambers.

***The media would rather cover the protests than a pipeline because of money and identity politics. They still want people to be divided, keep the heat turned up, the media are still after Trump because Trump isn’t invested in the media, he doesn’t even want a press core to follow him.

**** Give a follow to these guys on Twitter: 

JordanChariton, Mehdirhasan@IndepStream@medialens@FAIRmediawatch@AlterNet

Podcasts to note on this topic.

Podcast Grow Big Always - How culture controls our decisions

Tangentially Speaking - 210 (Primal Parenting)

Dan Carlin’s - Common Sense episode 311 - Trumped