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Update: Screenshots and thoughts from the show.
YouTube (s GOOG) will live-stream U2’s Los Angeles tour stop Sunday night, an event that could well be the largest single traffic peak the enormous site has handled to date.
The stream, at YouTube.com/U2, will go live with the show at 8:30 p.m. PT on Sunday. It will be visible in 16 countries — Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, South Korea, Spain, UK, U.S. — a significant achievement on its own given the complexity of music rights. And of course, U2 has an immense global audience.
Both YouTube and Hulu, sites that usually focus their on-demand content, have been tempted to explore live streaming — of music events especially. Neither site has a fully developed live-streaming offering, but has rather brought on shows and other events on a case-by-case basis. YouTube most recently streamed Dave Matthews Band and other artists at San Francisco’s Outside Lands festival. We tuned in to that show an saw a remarkably good stream with adaptive bitrates enabled to maximize a smooth experience.
YouTube’s Chris Maxcy, director of partner development, said Sunday’s U2 concert would be divided into archived footage and posted with advertising on U2’s YouTube channel after the event. He did not disclose further details on the implementation.
“We suspect it will be very popular in terms of live streams” was the most Maxcy would say about YouTube’s hopes for the event and its future live-streaming plans. He said he was confident the site’s infrastructure would hold up.