Though I might have hesitations and reservations regarding Live 8, mainly because I’m not convinced that it is the right solution (see post below), the event yesterday was a lesson in the power of the web.
To say that the Live 8 concert(s) was big would be an understatement. There were performances going on in London, Paris, Rome, Philadelphia, Johannesburg, Tokyo, Barrie, Berlin and Moscow – a truly world-wide event. Traditional media outlets, like TV, couldn’t keep up with the show. Big name musicians, actors, politicians and businessmen came out in droves to show their support causing further splintering of the TV medias effort to bring the event to screens worldwide. Coverage teams had a difficult time trying to follow each performance, while simultaneously interviewing stars and trying to fit the commercials in.
Meanwhile, the perfect medium for an event of this size and magnitude came of age: the Web. AOL did an amazing job of allowing viewers to watch any act they wanted to see, at any time they wanted to see it. Users could click from one geographic location’s live-feed to another. Instead of being forced to watch the TV medias linear coverage, AOL viewers could jump around to whatever concert they wanted to.
Think of this event as a showcase for the future. As the media center in your home becomes more plugged-in to the web, and media companies realize that they need to embrace this convergance of old and new media, large events like Live 8, the Olympics and the soccer World Cup will be streamed directly to your livingroom. The line between TV and the Web will become blurred and you will be the one who decides what you want to watch during a program.
This is the age of the end-user. The masses are becoming the ones who decide what will succeed or not. Corporations, the media, agencies and governments are quickly realizing that products and services are succeeding or failing because of the end-users choices and word-of-mouth, not just because of marketing budget size. It’s a changing world, and an exciting one to be a part of.