×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Twitter’s Periscope and Meerkat Invade Theaters, But Movie Biz Not Too Worried

Theatergoers are already using Twitter’s Periscope and Meerkat live-streaming video apps, which have launched in the past few weeks, to broadcast movies directly from cinemas — including this weekend’s blockbuster, “Furious 7.”

However, studios apparently aren’t overly concerned that box office will be hurt by the shaky, handheld live streams on Periscope and Meerkat, which may include only a few minutes of a film anyway. Other forms of piracy, including in-theater camcorders who try to sell copies of films and peer-to-peer downloaders, are a much more serious concern.

A search on Twitter revealed at least a dozen posts by users purporting to be live-streaming “Furious 7” on Periscope, and at least one Meerkat user doing the same. Yes, that’s a drop in the bucket for the pic, which is on track to clear $150 million in its opening frame, but it’s still early days for the apps, which quickly have become popular among the technorati.

“We haven’t encountered any issues with (Periscope or Meerkat) yet,” said Patrick Corcoran, National Association of Theatre Owners VP and chief communications officer. But, he added, theaters generally do not allow patrons to use devices capable of recording video to be used in auditoriums: “The same would be true of devices that live-stream.”

Still, NATO and MPAA are both concerned about new technologies making it easier to pilfer and share movies. It’s worth noting that last fall, the orgs officially prohibited recording by users equipped with Google Glass or other wearable devices in theaters as part of their joint policy to prevent film theft.

One Hollywood exec said the short-lived nature of Meerkat and Periscope streaming makes it less worrisome than other recording devices. Meerkat streams are only available to view live, while Periscope lets users offer replays for only up to 24 hours. “Meerkating a full movie in a theater is not particularly practical,” the exec said. “The experience of watching a live-streamed version on a phone is not going to stand up.”

Both Periscope and Meerkat, according to their terms of use, forbid users from streaming coprighted material and say they’ll pull down streams that violate the policies.

At this point, media and entertainment companies stand to have more to gain from Periscope and Meerkat by using the services for promotions and special events than they might be hurt by unauthorized broadcasts of their content. In fact, Imax used Periscope to live-stream a promotional video feed from the L.A. premiere of “Furious 7” on April 1.

It’s not known how many of Friday night’s Periscope streams of “Furious 7” were authentic, or how long they may have been able to stream the movie. A broadcast from someone in Tabasco, Mexico, was available for replay Saturday morning; however, less than 1 minute of video (dubbed in Spanish) was actually available, and the quality was poor:

More Digital

  • Hooq Sets up Filmmakers Guild For

    Hooq Sets up Filmmakers Guild For Second Year of Pilots

    Asian video streaming platform, Hooq is to air five pilot episodes that have emerged from its Filmmakers Guild. The most successful is guaranteed to be produced as a full series and streamed on the platform. Five original selected screenplays were each awarded $30,000 to be made as pilots, which now air from March 1. The [...]

  • Fortnite Battle Royale

    Epic Pulls 'Fortnite' Ads From YouTube After Child Predator Controversy

    Epic Games is no longer running “Fortnite” pre-roll ads on YouTube after it was discovered they were playing on videos alleged predators used to exploit children, according to The Verge. The developer has paused all of its pre-roll advertising, which plays before a video starts on the streaming platform, a spokesperson said. It also reached [...]

  • New Video Shows Off Vive Cosmos

    New Video Shows Off Vive Cosmos VR Controllers

    There’s still much to be learned about HTC’s Vive Cosmos — like release date, specs, and price — but Wednesday the company released a short teaser video giving a slightly better glimpse of the controllers in action. The new controllers look a bit like rival VR headset Oculus Rift’s Touch controller, though reversed in some [...]

  • YouTube logo

    Disney Reportedly Pulls YouTube Ads Over Child-Exploitation Controversy

    YouTube is facing yet another big advertiser backlash, with Disney and Epic Games among the marketers said to have pulled their ad spending after the Google-owned video platform was accused of facilitating what a critic described as a “soft-core pedophilia ring.” Vlogger Matt Watson, in a Feb. 17 video on his YouTube channel MattsWhatItIs, showed [...]

  • Samsung Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10+ Unveiled

    Samsung Announces Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10+ Phones

    Samsung officially announced its new flagship phones, the Galaxy S10 and its larger sibling, Galaxy S10+, at its Unpacked press event in San Francisco on Wednesday morning. The new phone features a punch-hole cut-out for its front-facing camera, which allowed the company to use an edge-to-edge screen design without the notch found on the latest [...]

  • Samsung's Galaxy Fold Unveiled at Unpacked

    Samsung Announces Galaxy Fold, a $1,980 Foldable Phone

    Samsung officially announced its new foldable phone, dubbed the Galaxy Fold, at its Unpacked press event in San Francisco Wednesday morning. The device features two screens that unfold to a tablet-sized slate. “We are giving you a device that doesn’t just define a new category, it defies categories,” said Samsung senior vice president of product [...]

  • ABC-Oscar-Game

    ABC to Launch Oscars Live Play-Along Game With $50,000 Grand Prize

    ABC is hoping to drive viewers to its host-less telecast of the 91st Academy Awards on Sunday by dangling the promise of cold, hard cash to one lucky winner. The broadcaster is launching “The Official Oscar Game,” a live game that will let viewers play along in real time during the awards presentation. The game’s [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content