Pop Culture

U2 partners with Meerkat to live stream concerts

Every show on North American tour will be shot by a fan and live streamed on the video app.

Bono U2 MeerkatBono U2 MeerkatBono performs next to a fan who is live-streaming U2's June 15 Montreal concert via the live video app Meerkat. (Photo: justinanewton / Flickr)

U2 is a band that has embraced technology throughout its near 40-year history. Anyone who saw the Achtung Baby and Pop tours in the early '90s can attest that Bono and company use whatever is cutting edge of the time to give audiences an immersive and unique live experience.

So the news that U2 partnered with Meerkat, the app that live-streams video via Twitter, to live-stream its North American tour can't come as a big surprise. Every one of U2's North American shows will be shot by a fan and streamed by that fan from a smartphone to the millions of fans following Meerkat and U2 on Twitter and Facebook.

The video will also be shown on the huge video screen above the stage. It's a video screen that's so unique, the band can actually walk inside of it and "interact" with the video that's playing. How that'll play out when someone is Meerkating The Edge as he plays his guitar inside the screen is anyone's guess, but it'll sure look cool.


What might be a bigger surprise is that U2 is partnering with Meerkat, founded by three Israeli tech entrepreneurs, rather than the more-dominant Periscope. Twitter rolled out Periscope right after Meerkat became the toast of SXSW, and soon overtook the independently developed app in popularity.

Remember, this is the same band that somehow managed to convince Apple to offer its latest album, "Songs of Innocence," as a free mandatory download to all iTunes subscribers and then apologized after people complained. U2 is used to working with big companies with massive followings, so going to the underdog Meerkat is a coup for the company.

It'll be interesting to see what videos come out of this experiment. Meerkat doesn't archive streams online yet, so you'll have to tune in live to see the results. Should be some fun footage that's visually as well as musically interesting.

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