The executive producer of global anti-poverty campaign Live 8 will head a new business for live entertainment programing created by America Online Inc., XM Satellite Radio Inc. and event presenter AEG, the companies said on Tuesday.
Kevin Wall, executive producer of the star-studded Live 8 aid concert for African countries that included performances from cities around the globe, is a co-founder and chief executive of the new venture, called Network Live.
The venture, which was conceived of several months ago and is not connected to the Live 8 campaign, will deliver music and comedy performances over the Internet, satellite radio, video on demand and wireless formats. Wall and the three companies involved have equity stakes in Network Live, but other terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"As Live 8 proved, this is a new era for live entertainment on the Web," said AOL Chairman and CEO Jon Miller. "This venture taps into the immediacy of the Internet for live shows and live shows on demand."
Network Live's business will be based on licensing fees paid by its distribution partners as well as offering advertising and sponsorships to marketers, Wall said during a conference call with reporters.
The venture is focused on North American audiences, but will seek distribution partners abroad, he said.
"Part of our opportunity as we move forward in the digital space is to really build upon the community both in comedy and music," Wall said.
During the Live 8 performances, for example, viewers were invited to send their personal signatures over the Internet and see the writing appear as part of the backdrop on the concert stage.
For future performances, viewers could have input by sending messages online or contributing to a comic's improvisation, Wall said.
AOL.com, which streamed video of the Live 8 concerts, said that more than 5 million people worldwide logged onto the Internet to watch, making it the biggest streaming event ever.
AEG, part of the Anschutz Corp, operates live entertainment venues, owns sports franchises in the United States and Europe and promotes concert tours for such artists as Prince and Paul McCartney. Internet services company AOL is part of Time Warner Inc. Source