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U2’s YouTube stream could mean more to come

October 26, 2009

U2 are going to promote their band by playing a live show on YouTube.

When one of the world’s most influential bands joins up with one of its most important websites, the show is stunning and U2 did not fail to disappoint during their performance tonight, which was streamed live from the Rose Bowl via YouTube.

U2’s current series of stadium concerts is expected to be one of the biggest tours the world has ever seen, as they are performing from a gargantuan stage, which the LA Times profiles here. Furthermore, Bono’s dreams of ruling the world have reached unprecedented heights (check out this article if you don’t believe me). The interesting element of last night’s concert, though, was not U2. It was Internet superpower YouTube, which is slowly dipping its toe into the mostly unexplored waters of live streaming.

As Mashable’s Pete Cashmore notes here, Justin TV and Ustream have pretty much dominated the field so far, but if YouTube chose to become involved, their resources would make for a pretty lopsided competition. Furthermore, the Google power behind YouTube has the wealth to take the sometimes shady world of live streaming and completely legitimize it.

This could be both good and bad for the Internet, as it would be providing better service and showing companies how to make a profit, but, at the same time, moving further away from the open source heritage of the Internet’s past. If YouTube could find a way to continue live streaming, albeit more in the vein of the smaller sites that are doing so right now, it would be a major step in the online revolution that we are in the midst of right now. If it was a step towards monetizing the Internet, though, that step may be futile.

(If you can’t tell, I have extremely complicated feelings on this matter as a journalism major. On one hand, I want companies and organizations to be able to make gobs of profit off of the Internet so they can take advantage of the abundance of opportunities that it allows. On the other hand, though, I am an Internet consumer and like being able to find what I want for free. This may be the topic of another post soon.)

Originally posted at On Popular Culture

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