MediaScope Blab: Australian Ad and Media Industry Round-Up


The rise of streaming social media continues to produce surprising results. We have Meerkat and Periscope putting powerful, real time streaming capabilities into our hands at the touch of a button, we have Facebook Live Video in selected release – and now, one of my new favourites, offering a virtual, live streaming app for panel and group discussions.

But if you have tuned into a Meerkat or Periscope stream, you’re likely to find them largely one dimensional. To host and hold a stream of people, you really do need to have a level of comfort in front of the camera. Add to this the difficulty with storage and replay, then the utility value of the stream can be quite minimal.

The group format of Blab, however, has a number of benefits over the single live stream offered by Meerkat and Periscope:

  • The panel format means that the performance pressure is shared by three other participants
  • Real time discussion can take place directly rather than via text/messaging
  • Discussions can be opened out through the platform, via Twitter or messaging.

But the best thing to do is to watch a Blab in action. Here, MediaScope’s Denise Shrivell does a wrap-up of the Australian Ad and Media Industry with Jules Lund, Charlotte Valente and Seb Rennie – along with contributions from others. Usually this kind of production would take coordination, equipment, scheduling and so on – but with Blab, participants beamed in (and out) without leaving their offices. It’s fantastic to see where this may go.

Watch live conversations about topics that matter most to you

Disrupting the Disruptors – Follow Me on Meerkat


I feel it. I’m sure you feel it too. Launch fatigue. It is what happens when you can’t bring yourself to click a link or open yet another email announcement about the app or website that is going to change your life. After all, our lives are pretty much the same as they were last year, right? AND the year before. And the year before that.

Actually, I can’t recall being truly, authentically excited about a new technology for sometime.

Until Meerkat arrived.


I frequently attend events of all shapes and sizes. Sometimes as a guest. Sometimes as a speaker. But always as a curious participant. If there is something interesting taking place, I will live tweet the speeches. I will take photos from the stage. It’s as much for my own benefit as it is for those who follow. I find this kind of live coverage a great way to capture value – to tell the story, to bring people closer. To explore. But with Twitter and even with Instagram pictures only take you so far. And for most events 15 seconds is just not long enough.

Enter the Meerkat

While Twitter recently announced its purchase of Periscope for live streaming – Meerkat has been able to build a substantial user base in a matter of weeks. And while new apps come and go, it feels like this cat may have some interesting and stripy surprises.

In my view, most social networks handle new product launches appallingly. It seems that once they achieve some level of scale, they lose their way, hire in “enterprise” types and follow the beaten path towards monetisation through advertising. Facebook are getting better at this. But Twitter is clearly lagging. Not only have they invested in an app with little or no public traction, their track record with new releases does not inspire confidence. And this leaves the door open for disruption.

Meerkat takes what has been happening in a much more clunky way and removes the friction. They’ve taken a leaf out of Apple’s playbook – observe an innovation and make it better. Pioneers of portable web streaming like JustinTV led the way, struggling with battery packs, bulky technology and low network connectivity. But for the individual it was all too much. Trouble. Bother.

And that’s where Meerkat’s elegance wins out. With your smartphone and a good 4G signal (or 3G while standing on one leg), you can now livestream anything. Everyday events. Activities just t. Special occasions.

With Meerkat, social media is not about telling people what you are having for breakfast. It’s not even about how good your breakfast looks in photos. Now people can watch you eat. Live. With sound.

We’re all breakfast TV hosts now

Effectively, our conversations can actually be turned into conversations. We become both interviewer and subject.

But already this new medium is challenging the old form. Twitter excels for those who find social settings too in-your-face. On Twitter you can know all the answers, but Meerkat’s critical eye demands high energy. Conversation. Viewpoints. Meerkat is the medium of the incessantly curious the verbally dextrous.

Is it all too much?

It’s very early days – but Meerkat is setting a new direction that we didn’t know we needed. But one thing is for certain. Those who win on networks like Meerkat will be very different from those who win on text based channels like Twitter. And when the disruptors are disrupted, things get interesting.

Kickstart Your Campaign with Video


The crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter, is a fascinating microcosm – it brings together all the elements and challenges of a business often before that business exists. So in many ways, a Kickstarter project is a pre-startup startup – and accordingly it faces many of the same immediate challenges. But where startups sprint towards product, Kickstarter forces a path towards market development. Those who can’t market, don’t win. And like current marketing trends indicate, video plays an increasingly important role in that process.

Research from MWP Digital Media shows that Kickstarter projects that have a video are 85% more likely to achieve their funding goals. This tends to match some of the trends we are seeing in broader marketing circles – with YouTube and Vimeo consumption continuing to rise – impacting not just brand and engagement metrics but also working at crucial junctures in the path to purchase.

Video, however, is a steep learning curve – so there are obvious benefits to outsourcing. But new features in familiar apps/platforms like Instagram and Twitter (via Vine) make it easy to experiment. And I have a feeling that the role of user (or brand) generated video content is only going to accelerate in the next 12-18 months. I have already begun testing this out for myself and with clients.

These days marketing never sleeps. I hope this shift isn’t catching you napping.


A Little Joy to Start Your Week

Ode to Joy Flashmob

Flashmobs tend to feel too smug to be joyous. But this one produced for Spanish bank, Banco Sabadell works wonderfully. As explained:

Earlier this summer, the bank brought together 100 musicians and singers from the Orchestra Simfonica del Valles, Amics de l’Opera de Sabadell, Coral Belles Arts, and Cor Lieder Camera to perform the anthem of the European Union — Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” from his Symphony No. 9. It all happens in the Plaça de Sant Roc in Sabadell, Spain, a little north of Barcelona. Perhaps this will put a smile on your face. Maybe you’ll even shed a tear. One way or another, make sure you turn up your speakers….

Via Open Culture with thanks to Steve Woodruff.