The Live Stream Goes Mainstream


In early 2011, Skype bought a mobile video startup called Qik, which had developed an app that let mobile users record and stream videos in real-time which others could be alerted to and then view. If that description sounds similar to the newly hot live-streaming apps Meerkat and Periscope, it’s because the overall concept introduced then is not all that far off from what’s happening today on these new platforms. But what’s different this time around are these apps’ potential to reach the mainstream.

Welcome to the era of the live stream.

When Qik was acquired, the company had grown its user base to 5 million – not a bad showing in the early days of mobile, where still apps catered to a largely more technical crowd and hadn’t yet found their ways in the hands of grandmas and teenagers and everyone in between. As with today’s live-streaming apps, Qik…

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