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MSN’s Big Hopes With Live Earth Megaconcerts

Updated: MSN has reported early data from the Live Earth: more than 10 million streams Saturday for its also claimed it reached “the most simultaneous viewers of any online concert ever,” but declined to specify a specific total. The previous online live record coverage of the Live8 concerts two years ago by AOL, which reported 5 million unique visitors, as opposed to streams. AOL also reported 175K simultaneous streams.

Original post: MSN’s hoping for big time online video creds with this one, after being left out of the whole video-sharing movement (though that’s a simplistic analysis at best): and it doesn’t get bigger than this: LiveEarth, the Al Gore-promoted series of concerts aimed at increasing awareness about climate change, will start on Saturday morning, and go on for 24 hours, hopping across six continents with concerts in cities across the world. That the concert itself is getting lukewarm response overall from fans is not deterring it, at least for now.

This THR story lays out MSN’s efforts in covering and webcasting LiveEarth online: MSN has exclusive rights in MSN 24 countries, and counting in multiple local feeds, will have 39 simultaneous feeds available worldwide. MSN is working with ControlRoom, the digital entertainment distributor headed by Kevin Wall (it also organized Live 8, though under a different company name)…Wall is also the overall producer of the concert. Every show in each city will be webcast live, beginning to end, with up to eight shows broadcast simultaneously. On the mobile side, MSN has a deal with Sprint in which mobile simulcasting and on-demand replays of shows from the U.S. and the U.K. will be available to U.S. customers.

Variety: MSN will be able to draw traffic to its music site by offering footage of acts such as Madonna, Dave Matthews Band, John Mayer, Lenny Kravitz, Pussycat Dolls and hundreds of others throughout the next four months.

Meanwhile, NBC Universal has TV rights, and will be broadcasting the show on its network of channels, including NBC, bravo, Sundance and others. It will cut down the commercial time from 18 minutes in an hour to 10 minutes every hour, keeping in mind how MTV got skewered for its overtly-commercial coverage of the last megaconcert Live8. More details on NBCU’s plans here.

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