The Roker Index tracks a new generation of digital talent

The New York prodco, founded by famed weatherman Al Roker, wants to better enable brands and advertisers to leverage the power of Periscope.
July 17, 2015

Ten years after the rise of YouTube, bringing with it a whole new crop of digital talent, Al Roker Entertainment (ARE) is banking on another talent revolution taking place as Periscope and other live-streaming platforms grow in popularity and use around the world.

ARE, a New York-based prodco with a focus on both linear and digital programming, recently launched Roker Labs, a new division that tracks and compiles a list of Periscope personalities into what is being called the Al Roker Entertainment Index. Future indexes will include other live-streaming platforms, according to a company statement.

Roker Labs is using specialized software to analyze live streams and organize personalities who stand out across categories on the Twitter-owned streaming platform. The idea, according to the company, is to establish benchmarks that will enable brands and advertisers looking to better leverage the platform to target key markets.

So far, the index has found that, on average, streams are most active during the evening hours, and, notably, the number of Twitter followers does not always translate into a viewer count on Periscope.

Amanda Oleander, dubbed the Kim Kardashian of Periscope, has fewer than 8,000 Twitter followers. But, on Periscope, she is considered the platform’s first real star, with more than seven million “hearts” from her 225,000 followers who watch her streams (and, increasingly, beauty and fashion brands looking to partner with an influencer).

There are also Periscope leaders who captivate a large audience with only minimal streaming activity. Most of those people tend to be famous already and have a significant Twitter following. Hillary Clinton (pictured) falls into this category. The U.S. presidential candidate, who uses the streaming platform to broadcast her speeches and interactions with voters on the campaign trail, has a Twitter following of 3.83 million and has attracted an audience of 96.5 million people on Periscope.

So far, “talking heads” — people like Oleander and YouTuber Nicole Arbour, who recently partnered with a chocolate company to produce a series of branded live-stream segments through Periscope — who speak directly to the camera are the most popular among live streamers.

According to the Roker Index, about 30% of users stream themselves and are most likely to talk about beauty products, day-to-day activities and food. Most users stream themselves cooking dinner as opposed to other meals, while techies who want to show off their latest gadgets tend to do so in the mornings and afternoon.

Along with food, travel and music are also popular topics among live-stream users.

Al Roker, the Emmy-winning TV host, famed Today Show weatherman and founder of ARE, said in a statement that live streaming is “game-changing” in an era of static social media. Roker uses the platform to stream dinners with his family and offer fans behind-the-scenes glimpses of life at the Today Show.

“The possibilities are endless,” he said.



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