Madonna uses Meerkat to debut new Ghosttown music video

Promo will have its live premiere on star’s official channel, with social app joining Snapchat, Instagram and Grindr in her promotional armoury

Soon, there won’t be a social app left that Madonna hasn’t used to promote her new album. Live video broadcasting app Meerkat is the latest, following the star’s use of Instagram, Snapchat and Grindr in the campaign for Rebel Heart.

“Be here at 10am PST tomorrow for the world premiere of Madonna’s Ghosttown video!” explained a message on Madonna’s official Meerkat profile, which at the time of writing has just under 1,000 subscribers.

Meerkat launched in February as the latest app enabling people to broadcast video live from their smartphones to their followers on Twitter. It has since been joined by Periscope, an app owned by Twitter that fulfils the same function.

Madonna is the biggest star yet to use Meerkat, after a bruising few weeks for the app, which saw Twitter turn off Meerkat’s access to its social graph, then saw it plummet down Apple’s App Store chart following Periscope’s release.

It is unclear how Madonna will use Meerkat to debut a music video as the app works by the broadcaster pointing their smartphone’s camera at whatever they want to stream.

If Madonna is able to air pre-recorded footage it will be an interesting departure for Meerkat. Allowing users to stream pre-recorded video would give it different functionality in its battle with Periscope.

Already this year, Madonna has raised a rumpus on Instagram by posting doctored photos of Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, John Lennon and Bob Marley; premiered her last video Living for Love on Snapchat; and running a contest on Grindr encouraging fans to post their own altered images of the album artwork.

Madonna's Meerkat profile.
Madonna’s Meerkat profile. Photograph: PR

It’s a sign of the music industry’s keen interest in the popularity of social apps, even – and often, especially – those not specifically focused on music.

Another artist, Jason Derulo, recently premiered his new video within dating app Tinder, with fans discovering his profile able to swipe right – as they would for a dating match they approved of – to watch Want to Want Me. According to Forbes, more than 1.1 million fans swiped right during the three-day campaign.

Madonna’s decision to use Meerkat may come as a surprise to some fans, since she is now one of the 16 co-owners of streaming music service Tidal, which is planning to use similarly-exclusive video premieres to promote itself.

Fellow co-owners Beyoncé and Rihanna have already debuted videos on Tidal before other services, but Madonna chose to make a 16-second teaser of the Ghosttown video available on Tidal ahead of its full premiere on Meerkat.

While less than 1,000 subscribers is a very limited audience on the latter, the video premiere will surely be promoted on other social networks: Madonna has 639,000 followers on Twitter while more than 18 million fans have liked her Facebook page.

Contributor

Stuart Dredge

The GuardianTramp

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