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

How to Record your Periscope Comments and Hearts.

So you want to keep your comments in your Periscope videos? Periscope won't do it for you? There is a basic way to do this.

There is an easy solution, just screen record the playback of your periscope using QuickTime. If you don't need to know any more than that, ignore the rest of this blog post. If you don't know how to do it, look at this link.

The information below is to tell you to take certain things into consideration.

  1. I have to do this everyday btw because I make scopes everyday and because of the 24 limit with videos on periscope, thats fine for me as I can be regimented with this, if you are normally not, beware of the 24 hour time limit please.
  2. You need to have some sort of screen recording software to interface with your iOS device to show on the main computer you're recording to.
  3. Be aware of the time, if you have a 45 minute scope, its gonna take 45 minutes to record, a 60 minute scope will take 60 minutes and so forth. Again this is helping me produce shorter scopes in length.
  4. For this setup on iOS you need a computer to suck the screen contents off, you can't screen record on the device itself. Not on iOS anyway, Apple has made sure of that.
  5. Your phone is out of action while screen recording, make sure you plan the recording accordingly. You are waiting in real time for the recording to do its stuff. You could stop and start the process and create more than one file at a time to edit later, but I don't, I try to record every scope in one go so all I need to do is convert with handbrake and upload. Your workflow will differ.
  6. If you have a second device to work from that helps with point 5, I have a second phone and iPad, I also have Whatsapp on my computer so i can stay in contact with the outside world. For all intents and purposes your phone is out of action.
  7. REMEMBER, it's recording the screen and not the video, there is a difference.
  8. The playback of the video needs to be perfect (the data connection needs to be awesome), otherwise any loading screens will be recorded as well and if you don’t want to edit the video, make sure you are present at the end when the periscope ends otherwise it just keep recording the end of the periscope screen. You got to baby sit the video sometimes.
  9. On a Mac, do not unplug or plug anything into your USB ports, it kills the screen recording, I don't know why, it does and basically leave everything alone.
  10. Turn off ALL notifications unless you want text messages and pop ups in your videos. I've turned off all notifications for things like, Facebook Messenger, Periscope and Whatsapp.
  11. Phone calls kill the process as well and in Hong Kong, random calls for robot diallers is common, fuckers. Sadly on iOS, you cannot kill the phone app. I wish you could, and please don't suggest using DO NOT DISTURB. It doesn't work.
  12. The files generated will be in the Gigabytes, convert using Handbrake to mp4. Of course, have the disk space available. After the video is on Youtube, I delete everything I converted anywhere. I leave everything in the hands of the Youtube gods.

Just FYI, you can record anybodies scopes as well like this btw.

Logic Pro X Woe (and Fix!)

I've hit a curious issue with Logic Pro X. I want to shed some light on it as I can't simply bounce (export) any podcasts out onto my desktop for uploading online

The podcasting setup I employ is super simple, I don't do music production at all with Logic, it's just me and a Blue Yeti mic making podcasts every week.

Today I just happened to be recording my spoken intro just fine, on testing the audio in Logic everything was peachy and then on bounce (to mp3) I got huge amounts of distortion and static. Where it came from I have no clue. I thought it was my Yeti until I tested my built in MacBook Pro mic and headphone mics. Logic then bounces out clean test files.

So I thought the Yeti mic was damaged. The plot thickened when I  tried recording in audacity (exporting out from Audacity using AIFF) and everything on export is totally fine. It feels like Logic is picking on my Yeti mic for some reason and it's only happened today after recording a number of podcasts with Logic, I've made podcasts weekly without any problems.

Now, the next part of my investigation led me to import the (Audacity) AIFF file into Logic and just bounce that back out again.  Guess what, static, so it's not even the mic! I've played with normalise even though I've never touched it before.

Turns out it's actually something to do with my i/o buffer settings in Logic's Audio preferences. I posted a request for help over on this discussion page, there was a second answer, but it seemed too destructive for my taste. Glad the simpler of the two options offered worked fine.

This video from Youtube provides a clear explanation with setting up the I/O buffer accordingly.

In a nutshell, keep the buffer size small for recording, make it high for exporting or mixing. Pity that Logic itself can't do that for me or detect what I'm trying to do and prompt me.