Want to hang backstage with your favorite artist? There's an app for that.
Twitter's live-streaming tool Periscope has had Silicon Valley abuzz ever since its March launch, giving users an outlet to broadcast video to their followers using only a smartphone camera. It's a medium that's been embraced by an A-list crowd of musicians including the Rolling Stones, Mariah Carey, Katy Perry and Steve Aoki, who have used it to host Q&As, stream tour bus and red carpet footage, and premiere new content.
Even more commonly, it gives fans a peek into the minutiae of artists' day-to-day. Country star Lee Brice, for instance, will switch the camera on when he's jumping on a plane, going fishing or sitting at an airport people-watching.
"It's just nice to be on that personal level in real time," the Drinking Class singer says. "There's no way for someone else to Periscope for you. This is who you are and there's no way to hide it." And unlike other social media such as Facebook and Twitter, whose primary use for many artists is to plug shows and albums, Periscope "has to be when the mood strikes, whether that's two or three times in a day, in a week, (or) I might go a couple weeks and not do it," Brice says.
Like Snapchat, which deletes photos and videos mere seconds after followers view them, Periscope broadcasts disappear after 24 hours. It's part of the reason artists "are more expressive and off the hook" while using it, says Billboard charts manager William Gruger. "Live streaming is another step in that direction of taking video (away from) something that used to be so refined and polished, and regressing toward a mean that is much more like what people are using to seeing when they shoot their own videos. It's using video as a means of communication."