Live is having a moment. A key player in the shift to mobile live streaming, the Twitter-owned service Periscope this weekend celebrated its first year online. The company also revealed a few metrics indicating how quickly it had grown in the time since its March 2015 debut, noting that its users had created more than 200 million broadcasts on its network. In addition, it said that more than 110 years of live video are watched daily on its mobile applications for iOS and Android.
Those numbers sound impressive, but it’s still worth comparing them to the rest of the video market. Periscope users haven’t yet crossed the 1 million mark in terms of hours of videos viewed per day in its apps. Meanwhile, industry leader YouTube says that today, its users watch “hundreds of millions of hours” of YouTube daily, and generate “billions of views.”
(Of course, Periscope’s metrics don’t include users who re-watch streams, or those who watch via the web, so this is not a direct comparison.)
That said, with rumors of a dedicated, live-streaming app being built at YouTube, Periscope’s dominance in this space is far from guaranteed.
Or more simply put: Periscope is not without its challenges. Though it won the early battle against rival and early leader Meerkat (which has since pivoted), Facebook has since entered the market in full force. The social network this year rolled out its own live-streaming feature to all U.S. iPhone users, then last month brought the feature to Android. Given Facebook’s scale (1.5 billion monthly active users), and the fact that it had been pushing live streams through its notifications, it could easily give Periscope a run for its money. But there are some indications that not everyone likes Facebook’s feature — the company said it would offer a setting that lets users disable notifications for live video.
That’s not to say that Periscope isn’t growing — the company said last August that its users were watching 40 years of video per day, and its user base had grown to 10 million. But the fact that it’s still today obfuscating its numbers as “years of video” watched per day instead of giving a solid figure in terms of hours watched daily indicates that Periscope is also trying to fluff its numbers a bit. Nor did the company announce an update in terms of its user base figures in the recent post, we should also note.