Blog Post

Where the Streams Have No Name: U2 Scores 10M Views on YouTube

U2’s live concert on YouTube (s GOOG) this past weekend generated nearly 10 million streams, according to a company spokesperson, making it the biggest streaming event ever for the video-sharing site. Though, to be fair, YouTube hasn’t done that many live events, and hasn’t released stats from them in the past.

We don’t know how many unique people watched the 2.5-hour show, or how many concurrent viewers checked out Bono & Co. We do know that Akamai (s AKAM), which helped deliver the event, only ever displayed a max of about 100,000 concurrent live streams in its public real-time stats over the course of the event. But 10 million is 10 million, and that’s a pretty good number for YouTube to leverage for future marquis streams. Plus, the audience size was certainly hampered by the fact that the music didn’t even start until 9 p.m. PT. (For a reference, Michael Jackson’s memorial service drew 8.9 million streams on CNN, 3 million on MSNBC, 6 million on ABC News, and many more elsewhere.)

YouTube was able to scope out unusually wide rights to the concert, and displayed it in 16 countries across all seven continents. It was also able to post the full show for on-demand viewing directly after it aired, and has gotten nearly 1.2 million views for it so far. A promo video for the concert has also gotten 4.5 million views.

However, those video views have been minimally monetized so far; the live concert had no ads, and the 2-hour and 21-minute on-demand version shows just a single ad (for me, a click to buy the album No Line on the Horizon on iTunes).