Today, we've got another guest blog from Jacobs Media's Dave Beasing, and his feelings on Live 8:
Congratulations, AOL. Out of all the media covering Live 8, you seemed to realize the importance of capturing every major performance in its entirety. Live 8 will go down in history as one of the first big events of the new on-demand Internet entertainment age.
I confess that I, like many radio people, failed to foresee the potential of Live 8 and to make more stations part of it. Those stations who did air Premiere Radio Network's feed complained that its 25-minute block format was disjointed and difficult to schedule around other programming. MTV, VH1 and ABC missed more great music than they carried, showing only brief glimpses of some artists and missing entire hit songs from others.
MTV/VH1's coverage, in particular, constantly frustrated viewers by disrespectfully cutting off superstar artists in mid-song. They actually interrupted a reunited Pink Floyd singing "Comfortably Numb" in mid-song so that two inarticulate VJs could try - in vain - to express the concert's historic significance. It was as if they couldn't let more than a few scant moments of musical history transpire on screen without again explaining to 12-year-olds why "Real World" wasn't on. If that's the economic reality of the situation, fine. Let some other cable channel air the concerts rather than cause millions of viewers to curse your brand for its dumbed-down, incomplete coverage.
Live 8 was spontaneous live music at its best with classic collaborations and historic reunions - and all of it to support a cause bigger than ourselves. Meanwhile, most radio stations did the usual holiday weekend countdowns and block parties - which are special, fun and popular - but seem almost self-centered and canned-sounding by comparison. Just 9-days after many speakers urged radio to recapture the passion of music during the Jacobs Summit, we missed an opportunity to convey raw, unpredictable, sincere musical passion -- delivered live from all over the globe.
Oh, well -- one of these mega-concerts comes along about every 20 years or so. Next time, we'll be ready.