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Live-streaming video apps Periscope and Meerkat continue to battle for the top spot. But despite all the buzz around the two, awareness, usage and interest are generally low.
Just over one-fifth of US internet users polled by Horizon Media in April 2015 had used or were interested in using Periscope or Meerkat. However, response rates varied greatly by age, and unsurprisingly, millennials led the pack in adoption. Half of 18-to-34-year-old respondents said they used or would use Periscope or Meerkat. This dropped to one-quarter for 35- to 49-year-olds, 16% for those ages 50 to 64 and just 7% for the 65-and-older group. Males were slightly more likely than females to express interest in using such apps.
Consumers aren’t overly keen on paying for apps: eMarketer estimates that just one-third of US mobile users, or four in 10 mobile app users, will actually pay for at least one app via an app store for use on their mobile devices this year. It makes sense, then, that the free aspect of Periscope and Meerkat was the top factor driving interest, at 59% of Horizon Media respondents. Fully 43% viewed such apps as an easy way to share live events in real time, while 42% liked that they provided a new way to view the world.
However, Periscope and Meerkat face a long road ahead if they want to battle with the big boys. Just 9% of internet users had heard of Meerkat, and only 6% said the same about Periscope. In comparison, more than three-quarters were aware of Instagram, 59% of Snapchat and 44% of Vine. One should note though that the study was conducted before the Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao boxing match on May 2, 2015, which thousands of people have reportedly watched via Periscope and Meerkat.
Millennials were most likely to be aware of Meerkat, at 11%, vs. 9% for those 35 to 49. Periscope was more popular among the 18-to-34 group, at 13% of respondents, vs. just 5% of those 35 to 49, and males were slightly more likely than females to be aware of Meerkat (12% vs. 7%) and Periscope (9% vs. 4%).
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