U2’S CONCERT in front of 96,000 fans at the Pasadena Rose Bowl in California on Sunday night will potentially reach millions after it was confirmed that it is to be streamed live on video-sharing website YouTube.
The broadcast, from 3.30am Irish time on Monday, is part of the Google-owned website’s ongoing attempt to boost its advertising revenue by moving beyond hosting short video clips into streaming full length films, television programmes and concerts.
It is seen by the band as a chance to widen its audience base as this year’s US tour winds down. U2 manager Paul McGuinness said: “Fans often travel long distances to come to see U2 – this time U2 can go to them, globally.”
The concert will be available in 16 countries, including the US, Ireland and Britain. Fans will be allowed to comment in real time through a Twitter feed and will be encouraged to make donations to Bono’s Red charity during the gig.
This is the first time YouTube has streamed an entire concert by a major international act. It has started streaming Hollywood films to US users and will offer a catch-up service for Channel 4 programming from early in 2010.
Advertising space will be available on archived gig footage. A YouTube spokesman said it has yet to be determined whether ads will be shown during the live gig.
YouTube music manager Michele Flannery said the site was confident it would be able to handle the millions of users expected to log on for the show. Two repeat showings will be broadcast immediately after the main event ends on Monday morning.
This article appears in the print edition of the Irish Times