THE LEFSETZ LETTER: Periscope

Tune in now, before the celebrities take over and the haters show up.


Something is happening here, but we don't know what it is…


The hype has been deafening. The digerati congregated at SXSW and declared

Meerkat the new savior. Then it was crippled by Twitter, which announced its

own, me-too product, and we're all sitting at home wondering what all the

fuss is about, wondering whether it's just the new turntable.fm.


You remember turntable.fm, don't you? The service that ruled the airwaves

for three weeks, before it crashed and burned and went out of business.

Because the internet is endless fads. Kinda like boy bands. Sites come and

they go. And if you're not busy being born, you're dying.


Bob Lefsetz, Santa Monica-based industry legend, is the author of the e-mail newsletter, "The Lefsetz Letter". Famous for being beholden to no one, and speaking the truth, Lefsetz addresses the issues that are at the core of the music business: downloading, copy protection, pricing and the music itself.

His intense brilliance captivates readers from Steven Tyler to Rick Nielsen to Bryan Adams to Quincy Jones to music business honchos like Michael Rapino, Randy Phillips, Don Ienner, Cliff Burnstein, Irving Azoff and Tom Freston.

Never boring, always entertaining, Mr. Lefsetz's insights are fueled by his stint as an entertainment business attorney, majordomo of Sanctuary Music's American division and consultancies to major labels.

Bob has been a weekly contributor to CelebrityAccess and Encore since 2001, and we plan many more years of partnership with him. While we here at CelebrityAccess and Encore do not necessarily agree with all of Bob's opinions, we are proud to help share them with you.


That's what Amazon does so well, reinvent itself, push the envelope. Now

they're all about same day delivery. Whether it be by drone or not. Whereas

Google was too stupid to realize mobile was going to disrupt their search

monopoly. Just like Apple went from computer to iPod to iPhone to iPad,

Google has been unable to have an Act II. Same with Facebook. Well, Facebook

bought WhatsApp and now they're into virtual reality and they're trying,

they're really trying to imitate Amazon and Apple and gain new traction, and

one has to give them credit for it, but my main point is even Facebook may

not be forever. And in a culture where everything is evanescent, do I have

to pay attention? It won't be long before Facebook pages are calcified, set

in amber, the site will be a ghost town no one goes to, because that's the

nature of the internet, we use and we abandon, can you say Geocities? But

for now, all the attention is on Meerkat and Periscope. And I'm not gonna

give you a primer. There are no instructions on the internet, just like with

video games. You download the app and poke around and experiment and…


You find two naked girls in Westwood broadcasting from their kitchen.


Sex is always first.


Of course, you can pay for a one on one live stream on a cam site, but this

isn't about money, this is about the bleeding edge. And that's what's so

exciting about Meerkat and Periscope, it's all brand new.




Like I watched a sunrise in New Zealand. A cove in Australia. Someone making

coffee in Amsterdam and a snowy spring in Siberia. Call me a voyeur, we're

all voyeurs, and right now regular people are letting you into their lives,

just for the fun of it, and it's strangely riveting.


They do it for the love. No one wants to be alone anymore. They want hearts

and comments and interaction. They'll perform if you show up and comment.


And who are these people?


Nobodies. Those with time. Who are not reading the newspaper, who listen to

the tribal drum and want to participate.


That's what's so fascinating about the bleeding edge of the internet. The

power fanatics, the government and the wealthy, don't partake, they're

behind the curve, so busy luxuriating in their status they can't see that

they're threatened, that everybody's threatened.


But if something gains traction, the money moves in and the celebrities rule

and the rest of us are excluded, left on the sidelines to pay and watch.


Believe me, no one's gonna want to see nobodies broadcasting in the future.

Why?


But now everybody does have his own television station. And we'll get new

stars, with talents we cannot predict.


And isn't it funny that Facebook is about our permanent record, but Snapchat

and Meerkat and Periscope are about impermanence. Experiences have trumped

objects and fleeting has replaced lasting. We're all in future shock. And

I'd tell you you could ignore Meerkat and Periscope, but then you'd miss out

on the fun. And it is fun to partake in something unformed, that is being

developed on the fly.


You signed up for AOL and had no idea you were going to abandon it for the

web, hell, you thought AOL WAS the web!




You didn't know you needed broadband, on your phone no less. LTE enabled

Meerkat and Periscope, never forget that. Innovation runs on technological

breakthroughs.


And you might Facetime or Skype into a loved one's life.


But what if you could Periscope into Britney Spears's life?


Oh, you'll be able to see Kim Kardashian's fake life, she shows up wherever

money is to be made.


And you'll see sanitized backstage tours.


And cleaned-up shows.

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