Month: August 2015

by Phil Aston Phil Aston No Comments

Video Marketing with Blab, Periscope and Hangouts On Air


No one can dispute that video marketing is going to more important than ever as searches on mobile devices overtake those made on a desktop.  What would you rather do, click play or read?

Producing video for your brand is getting easier now with the number of free live streaming Apps now available.

These are the Apps we are using for Genius Loci and our clients. We have deliberately left out Meerkat as it is a platform we do not personally use.

Google Hangouts On Air

Hangouts are still the best for music streaming and YouTube but are desktop based. More complex to set up but they are very powerful and you can achieve full HD video and audio. Branding is also easier with lower thirds and links to your website.  The level of interaction is also very high with the ability to use a comment tracker.

Hangouts also have a pre-broadcast area where you get guests settled before going public or live.

Hangouts do not work well over wifi or mobile.

After the broadcast the broadcast is available from YouTube.

It is a brilliant platform for reaching your Google Plus and YouTube audience.


  • Broadcast in HD Video and Audio
  • Studio Codec for live music
  • Up to 15 live guests
  • Unlimited viewers
  • Can be set up in advance
  • Green Room facility to brief guests before going live and after finishing the broadcast
  • Additional Apps for adding a lower third, adding links, Camera filters, Comments
  • Live streaming on YouTube
  • Can be embedded on your website
  • On YouTube just a few minutes after the broadcast finishes
  • Very polished and professional
  • Trailers  and branding can be added
  • Integrated into Google Plus


  • Can be prone to technical gremlins
  • You need to allow time (at least 30mins) before going live to set everything up
  • Does not work well on Wifi
  • Needs at least 3mbps upload (I think you need 10mbps)
  • Very difficult to get people outside of Google Plus to join the audience
  • Ideally you need to buy a separate Microphone, WebCam and lighting to get the best out of the system
  • Ethernet cable required
  • Fairly steep learning curve that does not stop


Periscope works on mobile only and is great for taking people on a journey. Brilliant for any business in tourism. Excellent for reaching your Twitter audience. Broadcast cannot be scheduled, they really are in the moment.

I do like this platform a lot.  I can take people down a little known path on a secluded beach and with the camera in front of me they are seeing what I am seeing without leaving their home in real time. I can give background info and as it is live they are part of the experience. The fact that it only lasts for a short time adds to that experience.

You can download the video after the event otherwise it is available for 24hours via Periscope.  Quality is variable depending on your connection and you can attract spam comments.


  • Mobile friendly
  • Works on low bandwith
  • Integrates with Twitter
  • Ideal for news updates and especially tourism,  live reviews, training
  • Integrates with the maps on IOS
  • Easy to start
  • Video can be downloaded and saved


  • Portrait only
  • Mobile only
  • Cannot be set up in advance
  • There are a lot of low grade quality broadcasts
  • Potential for spam
  • Video only available on replay for 24hours
  • No facility for guests, interaction is one way


Blab works well on desktop and mobile. Very easy to use, targets your Twitter audience, comment tracker is built in, Blabs can be scheduled and recorded.
I also like the fact that after the event you are sent two files – one for video and one for audio. So you can upload to YouTube and use the audio for a Podcast.

Hangouts win on picture and sound quality but lose on ease of use. Blab wins on ease of use and being able to set up / join from anywhere. Less bandwidth is required although ear buds are required as without them an echo loop can occur. There is no privacy on Blab so even if you are not recording you are live the instant you start.

I have noticed people setting up HOA events but actually broadcasting on Blab, so you can also target your Google Plus audience.

Blab works very well on desktop also, but picture quality is not as good as Google Hangouts, but guests joining and following comments is a breeze.  The platform is very new and the developers are adding new features almost every day.


  • Works well on Desktop and mobile
  • Very easy to set up and start
  • Can be scheduled
  • Built in comment tracker
  • Easily shared on Twitter
  • Up to 4 guests
  • Works on low bandwidth
  • Can be recorded or just be live when broadcasting
  • Recorded files sent as video and audio only – so ideal for YouTube and Podcasts
  • Lots of new subject headings being added to help with indexing


  • No camera control
  • No branding opportunities
  • No studio codec for music
  • Video quality not brilliant
  • Headphones are required to prevent echo
  • Camera setting is portrait so if you like having two people in view, it’s cosy!
  • If you are using a mobile, it will get very hot and drain the battery very quickly

Obviously this is a fast moving area and with Facebook trialling their own live streaming App called ‘live’ – we are in for some interesting times.

Phil Aston

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