23.06.2016 Gun-control protest: A watershed moment for live streaming?

Today could prove to be a watershed moment for online live streaming technology.

In the US Congress, Democrats have been staging a sit-in protest to demand a vote on gun control legislation in the wake of the shootings in Orlando.

When Republicans adjourned the House to stop the protest they ordered the TV cameras to be switched off.

But the protesting Democrats who remained started filming their speeches on their phones and broadcasting them via live streaming apps Periscope and Facebook Live.

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These have been picked up and broadcast by US TV network C-Span, which provides continual coverage of Congress.

In another innovative use of smartphone technology to circumvent the TV ban CNN even managed to interview one Democrat via Apple’s FaceTime.

Of course, footage recorded by Periscope and Facebook Live has been used in news reports already, and some reporters have used the technology to broadcast live to their followers.

But this is the first time a major TV news network has relied on live streaming to cover an ongoing news story.

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While we don’t think this will change the way TV stations operate – after all they will still want to use their best, most reliable and advanced equipment to broadcast the news – it is a significant step for self-broadcasting.

As we have noted before, brands have seen the potential of Periscope. Perhaps after today the wider news media will too.