Twitter is making its Periscope Producer service more accessible with the launch of an API. Available in private beta, this tool enables developers and broadcasters to stream live video through their computer, camera, Xbox, virtual reality headset, or any non-phone device without needing to connect directly through the Periscope app.
Early partners already signed up to use the Periscope Producer API include Telestream, Livestream, Switchboard Cloud, and Teradek. Broadcasters interested in using the API can apply for access here.
Introduced in October, Periscope Producer is aimed at celebrities and influencers who seek to put out professionally produced, high-quality live video instead of just streaming directly from their phone. Producer became generally available in February, though broadcasters still had to manually configure their devices with the app. But with the Producer API, specific software can have the service already integrated so creators don’t have to fuss with all the setup.
Using the API, third-party apps can authenticate Periscope accounts, configure streams, start and end broadcasts, and share live video to Twitter. It even supports seamless authentication between software and Twitter’s video platform.
With Telestream, the company incorporated Producer into its Wirecast software, which means livestreams can now be transmitted through numerous devices, such as live camera feeds, iOS cameras, and computer desktop and web feeds. Broadcasters can go live on Periscope and Twitter right through the software, making it easier to share an experience with people across the internet.
And third-party apps could also benefit from this API, especially those that cater to creators who value higher-quality streams. Periscope already has a stream API, but this one may appeal to users who want more finesse and greater control over their videos.
Companies like Twitter and Facebook have doubled down on video recently, and this launch is another sign that Twitter is serious about livestreaming. But it’s coming nearly a year after Facebook launched its own livestream API that lets developers tap into the technology with their hardware and software. And though Twitter’s new API provides the same broadcast functionality as Periscope Producer does, you’ll still have to go through the app to get analytics or data.
Early reports suggested that Twitter would be permitting media companies to publish livestreaming videos directly into its service using an API. The company has repeatedly declined to comment on the matter. However, with more than 600 hours of live video content within the last quarter, Twitter seems to be recognizing the potential in bringing on more professional-quality streams. It’s also quite possible that we’ll see targeted ad placements in these streams, something the company could be selling at this year’s NewFront conference organized by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).
Making it easier for people to stream quality content is a good way to not only increase viewership, but also appeal to broadcasters. Twitter said that it has seen the “total number of Producer broadcasts nearly double” every quarter, but declined to provide specific numbers.
The Periscope Producer API is currently available in private beta, and there’s no information as to when it’ll become more widely available.