frank's blog

50 Cent Symbolizes the Impending Live Video Explosion

Posted in blog, Media by aldorf on November 21, 2009

November 20th, 2009 | by Adam Ostrow

Some of the recent numbers being put up by live video events on the Web are giving TV a run for its money. Take for example the New Moon Premiere, which attracted 3 million viewers in total, a U2 concert on YouTube that reached 10 million, and the red carpet event for This Is It, which saw 1.8 million tune in.

Today, we have yet another big number to share, this time from last night’s Ustreamustream premiere of 50 Cent’s movie “Before I Self Destruct.” In total, more than 255,000 users watched at least part of the 90 minute screening, which included the hip hop mogul answering questions live from fans.

Although not as huge as some of the other events, it’s perhaps more significant. As opposed to debuting the movie on MTV, VH1, or BET, 50 took to the Web and reached an audience of comparable scale to what he might have found on TV. Granted, he’ll still use other mediums for promotion, but in light of his numbers and those of others, expect a lot more events like the Self Destruct premiere in the near future.

That’s not to say the Internet is going to be as destructive to television as it’s been to print media, but we’re certainly starting to see it emerge as a strong compliment, if not competitor, to more traditional means of video distribution. We knew this was coming, but a combination of bandwidth proliferation and integration with social sites seems to be pushing live video to a tipping point. And where 50 goes, the money typically follows.



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