Extreme sports enthusiasts are no longer limited to ESPN or to 140-character quips on Twitter in order to see what’s happening at the Winter X Games. Periscope, Twitter’s live video streaming app, has taken over the slopes in Aspen, Colorado with the help of camera manufacturer GoPro.
During the competition, ESPN has exclusive access to the live video feeds from GoPros that are attached to the athletes. But prior to the games, behind-the-scenes footage, such as warm-ups and interviews with the competitors, have been happening on Periscope.
Since Wednesday, X Games athletes, members of the GoPro media team and popular live-streaming advocates have been streaming from the slopes. They also have frequented the village to chat with professional snowmobile racers like Caleb Moore and snowboarders like Jamie Anderson.
— Mitch oates (@Mitch_Oates) January 28, 2016
— GoPro (@GoPro) January 28, 2016
— Periscope (@periscopeco) January 27, 2016
It's a big win for both GoPro and Twitter, two publicly-traded companies whose shares have declined markedly in recent months. Access to the X Games is a first for Periscope. Since its release in March, the app has been quite a shiny object for Twitter, which is struggling to achieve significant user growth and this month saw the departure of four top executives. Now, Twitter and Periscope are taking on the extreme sports industry, which is estimated to be worth $17.5 billion, according to research firm Board-Trac.
The ability to stream on Periscope from a GoPro was only added to the app earlier this week. But Periscope says the team has been fans of GoPro and the extreme sports content, such as underwater, skydiving and skiing, they have already seen on the app. Indeed, one of GoPro’s social ambassadors, Mitch Oates, has frequently streamed underwater with Periscope. Prior, Oates would use his Android phone and has admitted to drowning a few of them.
Both Periscope and startup Meerkat had met with GoPro in June, International Business Times previously reported. Interestingly, startup Meerkat has had the ability to integrate with GoPro since July. Perhaps the Periscope team was waiting for the right moment -- not unlike how The White House joined Snapchat shortly before President Barack Obama’s final State of the Union address earlier this month.
— Meerkat (@AppMeerkat) July 23, 2015
“The timing couldn't be better,” said Lizza Monet Morales, a popular streamer who has worked with brands to use Periscope during FIA Formula E and other sports events. “This is going to be extremely fun to watch and see who takes advantage of the new integration on and off the slopes. And with the Summer Olympics later this year, I already have plans as to how I'd love to integrate it into my coverage."
GoPro has issued its own endorsement of Periscope. “GoPro enables people to capture and share their experiences in the most immersive way possible, and the integration with Periscope provides GoPro users with a great, real-time platform to share their content,” Tony Bates, president of GoPro, said in statement on Periscope's blog.
In recent months, Meerkat has fallen out of favor with the community as brands and celebrities turn to Twitter's product. Despite the lack of buzz, Meerkat's team has worked on improvements to the app. "We're excited to continue to push the boundaries on mobile live video and create new use cases for this very new medium," Arielle Goren, a spokesperson for Meerkat, wrote in an email to IBT.