– Social Video Network on the Horizon
Meerkat was virtually first on the live streaming scene since launching last March but since then Meerkat CEO Ben Rubin has decided to pivot the business away from identifying as an exclusively live streaming platform.
Meerkat wants to diversify from live streaming market
The live streaming market was brand new when Meerkat stepped onto the scene but after the momentum of the company’s first few months slowed competition in the market grew.
Competitors like Facebook and Twitter’s Periscope which both have more money, more online presence and certainly more users.And the competition isn’t stepping down either.
Facebook has made its live streaming feature available to all of its users recently, making it the largest social live streaming app in the world and the company is prioritizing live streaming in its video division. Meanwhile, Twitter is integrating Periscope video into Twitter user feeds but the company is also utilizing the live streaming platform as an online marketing tool for businesses to advertise and build their brands.
In a recent email to Meerkat investors Rubin said, “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. Our assumption was that by reducing broadcaster’s cost to broadcast to zero (no equipment, etc) we would be able to create a whole new class of live broadcasters like YouTube did with video and YouTubers. We always believed that it would take a lot of time, but we hoped we’d see more positive signs a year later.”
But competition isn’t the only challenge the company is facing in live streaming. One major obstacle for Meerkat has been finding users that are willing to consistently broadcast on the platform. Users were just not comfortable with broadcasting so churn rates were high and that poses a huge issue when the platform requires a large amount of output from its users in order to be successful.
This isn’t to say that on paper Meerkat’s live streaming business model was not successful.
The audience wanting to consume live video streams was and is there and despite the retuning of the company Rubin says that Meerkat added viewers every month and that viewership is still growing. But factors outside of the company’s control could factor into the problem as well, that problem being interest in livestreaming.
According to a report from eMarketer last June only 20% of Internet users in the US reported even being interested in trying out livestreaming. And Meerkat’s performance on the app charts was less than impressive having …
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