Contributed by Timmah on 04 July 2005
Through America Online’s music service, non-AOL customers could access the live coverage of the concerts from any computer, anywhere in the world. Many have gone on to say that the online footage was, in fact, superior to that of the live television coverage. Around 150 artists performed, and AOL’s service was not matched for freedom of choice.
Not only could users switch between London, Philadelphia, Berlin and Rome but the service was also ad-free, unlike commercial television footage (such as that from MTV).
The crowd in London were also treated to a surprise appearance from the multi-billionaire Microsoft founder, Bill Gates. "I believe that if you show people the problems and you show them the solutions they will be moved to act," he said, pledging his support to the campaign.
Renowned for supporting various charities, Gates added, "thanks to leadership by people like Tony Blair and [British finance minister] Gordon Brown, the world is beginning to demand more action on global health and poverty."
An estimated 5.5 billion people watched the Live8 gigs which took place in London, Edinburgh, Paris, Rome, Philadelphia, Barrie (Canada), Tokyo, Johannesburg and Moscow.
The webcasting of these events is an indication of how the internet is now ready to cope on such a large scale, and is in direct competition with live television.
View: Live8 Website