Tuesday, October 20, 2009

U2 Gig To Be Streamed On YouTube

U2's concert at the Pasadena Rose Bowl in California on Sunday, Octber 25, will be streamed live on video-sharing website YouTube, the band have announced.

Manager Paul McGuinness said that, as the gig was already being filmed, it was "the perfect opportunity to extend the party beyond the stadium."

Fans in 16 countries, including the UK, the US, Australia and India, will be able to watch the show. YouTube said it would place adverts around the video "in the normal manner," and that clips from the concert would be available on the site after the gig ends.

The site will also offer viewers the ability to chat to one another using Twitter, or to give money to Bono's RED charity via a "donate now" button, while they watch the show.

McGuinness said that U2 "wanted to do something like this for a long time."

He added: "Fans often travel long distances to come to see U2 - this time U2 can go to them, globally."

However, it is not the first time that U2 have dabbled in live streaming - they allowed fans to watch a Boston date of their Popmart tour in 1997 via Microsoft's MSN website.

YouTube has also experimented with live broadcasts in the past, most notably with its YouTube Live show, which premiered last year with performances from will.i.am and Katy Perry. The company is keen to expand its business beyond hosting short amateur clips.

Earlier this year, it began streaming Hollywood movies like Cliffhanger to users in America. UK broadcaster Channel 4 has also announced it will offer a full catch-up service via YouTube by the start of 2010.

However, live streaming poses bigger technical issues than offering pre-recorded content, and issues over music rights may prevent the U2 experiment becoming more commonplace at any great pace.