In an ever-competitive marketplace of standalone live streaming products, Meerkat has decided to shift their product’s focus.
A memo by Meerkat’s CEO Ben Rubin to investors details the challenges they’ve had competing as an independent company against some of the big names in social media.
“The distribution advantages of Twitter/Periscope and Facebook Live drew more early users to them away from us and we were not able to grow as quickly alongside as we had planned,” wrote Rubin. “While live video has become an interesting feature on top of Twitter and Facebook, it hasn’t yet developed into a self-sustaining new network as we hoped we would do with Meerkat.”
Facebook Live recently rolled out to all Facebook users, allowing anyone and everyone to go live. Live streams are pushed out to each user’s existing audience, whether it be that of 200 friends or 200 thousand fans. Twitter’s Periscope is deeply integrated with user’s Twitter accounts that it’s much easier for a public figure to reach their audience there as well. Distribution advantages combined with the access to additional funding made for a weak outlook.
Still, Meerkat wasn’t without its advantages.
Perhaps one of the best features that Meerkat touted was the ability to let somebody else hijack your broadcast for 60 seconds as a sort of “co-host.”
Many other mobile live streaming platforms are still alive and well, and we see new ones popping up every day.
YouNow, which was founded 4 years prior to the Periscope/Meerkat rivalry began, looks to be booming better than ever.
Industry executives are leaving their current jobs to get their own piece of the live streaming pie. Will Keenan, who previously led Endemol’s digital initiatives, recently announced his departure to serve as the president and chief content officer for Streamup, yet another live streaming platform.
YouNow and Streamup both allow for top-performing creators to earn revenue from their streams based on the micropurchase transactions of virtual goods, tipping, and paid subscriptions. This incentives existing high-profile creators to hop on the platforms and bring their audiences over to create an additional revenue stream.
All-in-all though, the space is still in its infancy, and only time will tell which platforms will rise and which will fall.