Periscope pulls into the lead in the mobile live-streaming race for subscribers

Twitter's live-streaming app, Periscope, has shifted into a comfortable lead over Meerkat and new entrant Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) in terms of subscribers, announcing that as of Aug. 2 it has more than 10 million user accounts. The time spent watching videos on Periscope has also grown accordingly, the app's team said.

Nearly 2 million daily active users are racking up a combined watch time of more than 40 years per day, on both iOS and Android devices, Periscope said.

"Time Watched serves as a proxy for active user growth, without suffering some of the limitations of focusing exclusively on a metric like Daily Active Users (DAU) or Monthly Active Users (MAU)," Periscope CEO Kayvon Beykpour said in a post on "Although it's useful for us to see that our DAU graph is trending upwards … we don't think it's the most important metric for assessing our overall success."

The time watched metric also enables Periscope to capture viewership of its users' live broadcasts outside of the Android or iOS environment, such as on Increased watch time suggests that both viewers and live-streamers (dubbed "broadcasters" by the service) are finding value in Periscope, and that the quality of the streams is improving, the service said .

Periscope time watched metric

Time watched by Periscope users, measured in Years/Day. (Source: Periscope/

Jefferies Equity Research saw the announcement as a positive for Twitter, Periscope's parent company. "This is the first data point that we have received since learning during Twitter's 1Q15 earnings conference call that 1MM accounts had been created in the first 10 days. Twitter's 304MM core MAUs (ex - Fast Followers) stand as an immediately addressable market for Periscope to grow its user base."

Beykpour, on a live stream announcing Periscope's subscriber achievement, said that the unit now has 23 full-time employees and that they are continually working to improve the product and its offerings.

Monetizing Periscope is not yet at the top of Beykpour's -- or Twitter's -- priorities, he said. That is in line with comments by interim Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who said on the company's second-quarter earnings call that "we have no plans to share around monetizing it just yet," according to a Seeking Alpha transcript.

Meerkat, which launched its live-streaming app in February but subsequently was blocked from Twitter's API after the social media company bought Periscope, had about 2 million users in May, according to founder Ben Rubin.

Meanwhile, Facebook is easing its way into the live-streaming pool with its new app, Live. The service, which launched Aug. 5, initially limited access to a few celebrities who agreed to try out the service via Mentions, a VIP-only Facebook app. The company told TechCrunch that it will soon roll out Mentions to users with Verified Profiles, opening up Live to more people.

For more:
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