U2 Concert On Youtube – the possibilities!

Youtube concert

Youtube concert

At approximately 2.30pm on Monday AEST, U2 staged the first live streaming Youtube concert online. And I witnessed it!!

U2 is easily one of the world’s best known bands. It’s probably not the first band to stream a concernt online, but the first of the major bands to do so and to such a large audience. I’m by no means a huge fan of U2, but I wanted to be part of this historic and momentous event. Plus I got to watch a concert for free!

I tuned in for about 2 hours and watched it in between doing work. I had it streaming in the background and witnessed an awesome concert unfold. They played a lot of songs that I was familiar with but didn’t know the names of and got me reacquainted with a lot of their music.

There was a bit of lag at times (about 3 or 4), but overall the streaming was smooth and there were heaps of different camera angles. Considering that there were in excess of 1.3 Million channel views, that was a pretty impressive job by Youtube. Their cloud servers must have been running at max capacity!

Monetisation Streams

As I was watching it, I was talking to my friend @dacheah about the monetisation possibilities. I feel that this was a public demonstration of Youtube’s streaming capabilities. This was a free concert, but imagine how much advertising, publicity, and album sales were made in the lead up, during the concert and post concert.

On the right side of the streaming video, you could purchase a download of the album off iTunes. Or donate to Bono’s Red charity or find out new information about their new album. These are just the direct actions you can take. By using iTunes it allows people to make an immediate purchase and receive the album on demand, an even cheaper distribution method.

But what happened indirectly?

They were able to bring in people like myself who aren’t big U2 fans into their music. Created new fans and advocates of the brand.

Given all that is happening in the music industry with the profileration of free downloads and pirating, there needs to be alternative money stream. Stream the concerts for free and entice people to purchase singles, albums and merchandise.

However, I think the biggest play would be to charge people access to live streaming concerts. This could be Youtube’s monetization model, have people pay $5  -10 to watch a world class concert. You could potentially have a subscription service as well, whereby people pay a yearly fee and get access to number of online streaming concerts. I’d also pay for this.

The ability to use streaming online video is now quite easy. We used it for our basketball game via Livestream (formerly Mogulus).

Back of the Envelope numbers

Using some general online stats that only 10% of people would pay for an online service, lets assume that 130,000 of the 1.3m viewers would have tuned in @ $5 a pop (lower end of the scale).

$5 per viewer x 130,000 number of viewers = $650,000  Revenue


Video Costs

1. Streaming costs

Youtube offers branded channel but their not cheap. If you advertise more than $80k with adwords, you can get it for free. They also have free accounts as well at the public level. But I feel that its going to be bundled together with streaming, storage space  similar to how Livestream and Ustream do it. Let’s do a yearly calc based on Livestream current costs:

1 Channel with 25GB streaming, HD up to 1.7 MPS: $350 a month

20 premium channels with 200GBs streaming, HD up to 1.7 MPS : $1,250 a month

I assume that there will be an option in the future for premium users for 1 Channel with 200 GBs available for larger concerts. It could possible use Google App Engine or Amazon EC2 which will bring the cost down. However, lets go with $1,250 since this is a publicly available cost. Give that 130,000 viewers watching video could potentially smash the server, lets multiply the cost of streaming by 5 fold to be ensure there is enough capacity to handle the extra traffic.

I’ve chosen a yearly fee because the band will want to maintain it and possibly do a number of concerts.

$1,250 per month x 5  x 12 months = $75,000

Note that this is a variable cost because it can be cancelled or use more/less bandwidth. But you will probably want to retain it and the more concerts you do, the more the cost will be spread.

2.  Camera crew for 2 hour concert

Camera crew will be needed for full day to prepare, stream and record,  dismantle stuff. This staff is in addition to existing sound crew. I don’t want the regular sound crew worrying about online streaming in addition to the concert as well.

This could be you

This could be you streamed online....

Lets say 5 are needed – one in the booth to check video, three camera people to give different shots (upclose, in the crowd, pan wide), maybe an extra sound guy. That’s 5. I use 8hrs for a full day required for a 2hr concert.

$80 p/h  x 8hrs x 5 staff =  $3,200

3. A couple of IT and social media guys

On standby to monitor streaming, computer/servers crashing, social media feedback, commenting, drive traffic – 3 staff. I’ve chosen the figure $120 an hour to get more quality staff with experience.

$120 an hour x 8 hrs x 3 staff = $2,400

Total costs

$75,000 streaming + $3,200 camera crew + $2,400 IT staff = $80,600

$650,000 Total Revenue – $80,600 Total Cost = $569,400

That’s approximately $570,000 profit.

I haven’t included advertising costs, but this could be done in conjunction with their concert promos i.e. a URL at the bottom of the concert poster, twitter updates / facebook updates, email, radio. The cost of this should not significantly increase current advertising spend.

Of course not all bands are going to have this kind of fan base like U2. Smaller bands can cut costs by hiring less staff, opt for a smaller online account, but I dont see how they couldn’t take advantage of this.

Plus you also need to add in the profit from ticket gate receipts, album sales, tshirt sales, iTunes downloads, etc….

Final Thoughts

Online streaming simply provides an additional revenue stream for music bands via concert. I’m sure some bands and event planners are concerned that people might not turn up to a concert if shown online for $5 instead of a concert ticket price of $130. But nothing beats seeing something live.

However, there is going to be a significant number of fans that can’t afford the ticket price, cannot make it due to work / commitments or are simply living overseas. Surely this can be monetized! Your providing them with the chance to also participate in the concert, be a part of the crowd, and sing along.

Side note: Youtube has also introduced paid search for video,  and the videos shows up as a sponsored link. There is also Google Music Search, which produces results for all the different music services.

I’m out like Mogulus,

Matthew Ho.

Anyclip demo

I first heard of anyclip when they received runnerups in the techcrunch50 awards. So I signed up to the private beta immediately to test it out. I’m still waiting on my invite though.

Now, I’ve just seen the demo video and I really dig it!

A service that lets you find “Any moment from any film ever made”. That’s a very powerful tagline. Kinda like the Bill Gates vision “A computer on every desk”.

Watch the entire video for the demo and the questioning.

FYI the guys on the judging panel are:

– Scobelizer (Robert Scoble) is a huge tech blogger, former Microsoft guy

– Sean Parker, founding president of Facebook and co-founded Napster, Plaxo and Causes. And now joined Yammer!

– Reid Hoffman, once an aspiring Academic and Rhodes scholar (i think), founder of Linkedin and mentor to many of the top web 2.0 CEO’s

– Dick Costas, founder of Feedburner, Head of Google Social Products, and now COO of Twitter

– Mike ?, he used to be chief engineer at Mozilla Firefox, now Chief Engineer @ Facebook.

As you can see, its the who’s who of Silicon Valley.

Essentially they:
1) Aggregate short form video (less than 4 mins)
2) Allow people to metatag and categorise
3) have monetization models so you can buy the video or download or rent it

There are valid questions around legals, getting buy-in from the studios re content and also discovery.

Discovery is a good point, because that’s how I find a lot of interesting content on youtube from browsing other videos. I also think its going to be an incredible challenge getting the studios on board. But they did it with Hulu via a JV.

Ultimately, the guys behind it are right suggesting that it reinvigorates our love of movies. By me watching that scene from the Big Lebowski, I wanted to go to the video shop and rent it immediately. It might encourage others to go find the torrent, but they were never going to buy it anyway.

My other question is that can’t Youtube do all of the above? Youtube’s biggest problem at the moment, is that the most watched videos and biggest traffic driver is amateur videos. Not professional. If the anyclip guys have figured out a way to automatically tag, categorise and scale it, that could be a winner.

I’m out like long form video,

Matt aka Inspiredworlds

Beware the Witch of Man

On Monday night, about 300 people gathered for the inaugural launch of the social media club in Sydney. The event was held at the Polo & Supper Club in Oxford St and the event was well attended by the masses. By the masses I’m referring to marketing people, the digerati, the twitterati, PR people, etc…or whatever you want to call them. The key note speakers were the fake Stephen Conroy aka Leslie Nassar (love your work!) and Adam Ferrier of Naked Communications. The MC for the night was Tim Burrowes, editor of Mumbrella.  The topic for the night was “authenticity & transparency in social media” – one of those airy fairy marketing topics. 

At 6.30pm when I arrived, the place was pumping. They had two levels booked out, and the bottom level where the main arena was, was absolutely packed. Standing room only! (Well bars are made for standing room).

Man with the $349 jacket

Adam Ferrier went first and spoke about their infamous “girl in the jacket campaign”. This campaign was created for Witchery to launch their mens range and they had a budget of zero (emphasis) and wanted to generate a lot of buzz. So they created a fictious story where girl sees boy in cafe she fancies, boy leaves jacket, girl wants to find boy. Girl then goes to the enormous length of posting a video on youtube. The story then got amplified as the main stream press picked it up and they showed that Sunrise breakfast program, newspapers, etc… Their intention was to get the brand noticed and get people talking about Witchery Man. Check it:


As of now, 212,100 views in youtube. Pretty impressive for a budget of zero. I’ve watched the video for the first time, and although I have the benefit of hindsight, I would have been highly skeptical of it at the time. The way that she goes to great lengths to describe the jacket and how the “perfect guy” would be wearing it. In fact its not a bad jacket. Subliminal advertising must work on the weak.

Then the press started asking who is this girl, is this a marketing campaign, who is behind this? They eventually got outed. Naked & Witchery came clean and posted a video response saying yes it was us. I’ve only seen the videos now (after the talk) so here it in all its glory:

Man, I cringed when I saw this. It could have been executed a lot better and definently with more class – the way that Heidi turns it into a ad for the jacket. In fact, the only time I cringed even more in the last 24 hrs was when I heard Adam Ferrier’s response as to whether Naked was arrogant.

Its all about generating conversations

It seemed that for most of the night Adam was defending Naked’s actions. He even had stats to back himself up. But at the end of the day, I think he was convincing and I agree with Tim Burrowes comments on Mumbrella that he did help to sway the crowd onto his side.

Honestly, I don’t have a problem with this tactic of creating a false story or building a mysterious story to get customers engaged and talking about a brand. Brands do it all the time. It’s what we do as marketers. Can Jordan really fly? (Wait, there is doubt?), are pure blondes really made from pristine rivers? Brands make up stories and fantasies all the time to get customers talking and excited. All they want to do is generate buzz. If that’s the objective, then Naked slam dunked it.

Was the public misled about Girl in the Jacket. I have no doubt they were. Was their a line that was crossed? Yes – only when they made that cringeworthy followup video. If Naked did not do the followup video like that, I think it would have been a great campaign. Consumers are smarter than what we give them credit for.

Was it groundbreaking? Of course not. In fact some guy in the audience asked “Did the Witchery Man campaign helped increase the popularty of social media?” – dude are you kidding me? They posted a youtube video about a fake story and it got picked up by the press. It’s not as if they created Twitter. When the story was being told, I immediately thought of the real life campaign of NY girl of my dreams, the cybersearch by one NYC man for an aussie girl he met on the subway. I came across this when I was travelling in the States, and I had actually thought about it when I started reading about this campaign and the connection became even more clearer last night. 

I agree with Adam’s insight that social media is a communication channel. It could be more than that, but at the end of the day that’s primarily what it is. Yes it is democratizing media (see Ashton Kutcher). However, it does make it a lot harder for brands and marketers to do something similar now because people think they got screwed over.

It nots really Stephen Conroy?

I love Leslie’s work as the fake stephen conroy. Dude is funny but a walking PR disaster. He didn’t have a lot to say on the night and Tim was trying to involve him as much as possible by asking him questions as well. But he definently had a couple of good insights – that not everything created by companies on social media is great. Everyone does go nuts when they see a brand do something on social media. 

If you want to see more of the Witchery Man campaign check the video from the night.

I’m out like the man in the jacket, 


Black Eyed Peas v MC Hammer Mashup: U Can’t Touch My Humps

Whilst trawling the net for some MC Hammer pictures, I thought why not check youtube? It’s the treasure chest of video content.

Most of the MC Hammer videos are pretty bad quality (since they are from the 80’s). Why don’t they re-release some of the videos in higher quality format? Or even do a remake – 2009 style. He’s obviously popular. One of the video’s with 9 million views has been banned by youtube. Youtube doesn’t actually “ban” the video and take it down these days if there’s a pending legal dispute. They actually just take away the sound. It’s pretty stupid.

So what the author did was replace it with a keyboard sound.

Anyhow, I came across this awesome mashup with Black Eyed Peas v MC Hammer: U Can’t Touch My Humps

It’s brilliantly made and remixed.

And if you want the classic MC Hammer styles, check out the video below. It took me a while to find a decent version.

I’m out like MC Hammer mashups,

Matthew Ho

Google Ocean? Check out Google Earth’s new features

Google never fails to impress me. I’ve been catching up on my reader feeds, and was reading the Youtube blog and came across the new Google Earth 5.0 features. It’s off the hook!

Now you can look at the ocean, go underneath the ocean, and also check out thing people have landmarked. Like videos of fish they have discovered at a certain point, websites about a certain location. It looks like a mashup feature with geo tagging (tagging the actual location on google earth). I won’t talk any more, and I’ll let the video do it justice.

I’m out like Google Ocean,


On demand tv – Hulu v Youtube

I found this website called Hulu via my favourite technology / business blogger, Mr Mark Cuban. He talks about a new website which allows you to watch movies and tv shows online, for free!

What’s the catch I hear you cry? They have pre roll ads, and ads during the shows. Pre roll ads are basically ads that show before you watch the video. Kinda like movie previews before the actual movie. The advantage is that you can watch anytime, as you demand it. Its a partnership by a couple of online giants AOL, MSN, Myspace, Yahoo. At the moment, they are mostly showing stuff from some of the major US tv networks.

Its explained a lil better on their website:

“Hulu brings together a large selection of videos from more than 50 content providers, including FOX, NBC Universal, MGM, Sony Pictures Television, Warner Bros. and more. Users can watch current primetime TV such as The Simpsons and The Office the morning after they air, classics like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Married…with Children, movies like The Usual Suspects and The Big Lebowski, and clips from Saturday Night Live and other popular TV shows and movies.”

This is a pretty big thing from the TV network/movie studio industry. But I did notice recently, that you can actually download old tv shows from www.nbc.com for free! Without any ads! I was searching for a tv series called the Black Donnellys which Rahul had told me about. I’d seen the tv pilot about a year ago, and really liked it. And then I was searching for where to download it, and I read on a website that they stopped showing the series after 10 episodes and simply put the last 3 online to download! I recall that another friend Nina, mentioned that you could straight up download episodes without ads from the NBC website. This huge back catologue has just opened up!

Consumers of online content, have been downloading tv and movies for years, with an ever increasing intensity. It’s what we want – to be able to download what we want and watch it whenever we want. We were downloading the new episodes of Heroes and Prison break before it hit Australian tv! If I wanted a movie, I could easily go to www.torrentreactor.com or www.mininova.com. Type in the name of the movie, tv show, cartoon, song or album that I wanted. And viola! I’d have it in a matter of hours or by overnight.

Its the online environment we are living in now. It was only a matter of time before it became official to download/stream these via legitimate means. I went to a networking conference and heard the Marketing Manager of Channel 9 speak. He mentioned that he saw Australian tv is moving that way too, having the option of streaming tv and movie content from their website.

The restrictions with Hula is that you can’t watch it if you are outside the States. Which sucks! And you can’t download, only stream – i.e. you can watch it, but you can’t have a copy of it on your computer and pass onto a friend.

However, I’m not sure what is going to happen to DVD sales. For the past decade, that has been a huge boon for tv networks and movie studios. If you can watch it online for free, will you still want to buy it? It will still appeal to DVD enthuasists who still want to own copies of their favourite tv series and movies.

But hey, things are changin’!

I’m out like Youtube 😛


Free Lecture on blogs, wikis, and youtube…..

My old university has a free lecture on web 2.0 topic. I actually paid to go a similar lecture by the Australian Marketing Institute. I wanted to go to a Law Society lecture last week on Internet and copyright/terms of contracts for websites, but alas I was sick. The details for the free uni lecture is below:

UTSpeaks: Hearing, Seeing, Knowing More
This public lecture explores the phenomenon of emergent media – blogs, Facebook, YouTube, podcasting, wikis and more – for their social consequences and the long-term change they may bring about for people, politics and public and private sectors. Speaker Dr Jim Macnamara is UTS Director of the Australian Centre for Public Communication and has had a distinguished 30-year career working in professional communication practice.

Date: Wednesday 11 June 2008 from 6pm
Venue: University Hall, Science Building, 745 Harris St
Free parking: Peter Johnson Building basement car park 702-730 Harris St, Ultimo
RSVP: Tuesday 10 June 2008 to robert.button@uts.edu.au or (02) 9514 1734

UTSPEAKS: is a free public lecture series presented by UTS experts discussing a range of important issues confronting contemporary Australia. To subscribe to the UTSpeaks public lecture series, register at http://sendstudio.itd.uts.edu.au


On a more historic note, the Apple iphone comes out soon! And they are unveiling the Apple Store next month. They’ve also planned a store in Chatswood and Melbourne. I’ve been to 3 or 4 apple stores in my travels around the world (New York, Tokyo, Osaka, and San Francisco) and I loved all of them!

I’m out like the pre-Iphone days!