When it comes to trying out emerging media platforms, Madonna, or rather, her team, has been quite bullish. Back in February, Madonna debuted the music video for her single “Living for Love” on the Discover tab of Snapchat, making her the first mainstream artist to premiere a full video on Snapchat. Last month, she also teamed up with Grindr to promote her new album with fan competitions and sweepstakes on the app. So it seems only natural that her new music video for “Ghosttown” was scheduled to debut on one of the hottest platform right now—live-streaming app Meerkat.
Since Monday, Madonna’s Meerkat page counted down the hours and minutes until the feed went live. Yet, the video premiere never happened—at 10 a.m. PT this Tuesday, fans that tuned in on Meerkat were greeted with either a blank or 500 error page. Outrage ensued. Later, Meerkat CEO Ben Rubin denied any “scalability issues”, and a new stream went live for the video at 10 a.m. the next day.
Nevertheless, the incident does provide an important reminder for high-profile early adopters: new platforms might be popular and shiny, but they probably still have a few kinks to work out. While mobile live streaming offers exciting new possibilities, live broadcasts are inherently less forgiving towards technical glitches. This, however, shouldn’t stop brands and celebrities to stop experimenting with new services. After all, all media platforms have to start somewhere, and only early adopters get to share the newcomer buzz and enjoy the first-mover advantage.