Twitter's Australian Head of Music Claims Periscope Users Watch 40 Years of Content Per Day

Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images
The Periscope logo is displayed on the screen of an Apple iPhone 6. 

A year after live-streaming apps -- namely early contender Meerkat and the now-dominant Periscope -- broke through to the tech-saturated throngs of South By Southwest, Jennie Sager, who heads Twitter's music and entertainment department in Australia, announced today that Periscope streams more than 40 years of content per day. The live-streaming video service, owned by Twitter and employed within its app, launched less than a year ago on March 26, 2015.

"When Periscope first came out the reaction was, 'This is gonna be really bad for the music industry,'" Sager said during a panel called Music and Tech: Why Can't We Be Friends? "We never intended it to [be used to] live stream shows. Artists are using it to broadcast the moment before they go on stage, or what's happening on the tour bus. It's a different way for artists to communicate with fans on a different level."

According to Sager, the service was downloaded one million times in the first ten days after its release, and its initial user base grew organically. "[The industry had] to embrace it because there's not going to be any way to stop it," Sager said. "Now artists are approaching us to develop Periscope campaigns before they go on tour." Sager also asserted that music is "the number-one conversation driver" on the platform.

Both Periscope and Meerkat drew controversy shortly after their debut, as Sager alluded to. Periscope CEO Kayvon Beykpour addressed the piracy of last year's much-hyped fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather through his company's app, saying at the time that he doesn't support piracy but, demurring, that Periscope couldn't be blamed for it either. "I don't think it's something inherently we've done wrong in any way," Beykpour said.

Periscope has been used ubiquitously over the last year by artists, from Neil Diamond to Erykah Badu.