Not willing to drop $50 on Arcade Fire's upcoming tour? No worries—YouTube has you covered.
Announced last night, YouTube will be presenting a five-part concert series called "Unstaged." Co-sponsored by American Express and VEVO, musical performances will stream live on the free video service, and will start with Arcade Fire, who'll be kicking off the series at Madison Square Garden on August 5 (the group has sold out the show and a second one the following night at MSG).
"Unstaged" promises incredible online features that wouldn't be available even to those who dropped the cash on tickets and fought their way through mobs at MSG. At certain concerts, for example, YouTube fans will be able to vote on encore performances for the band to play. Viewers will also be able to switch camera angles, and judging from the preview below, it looks like YouTube users might get the best seats in the house. Plus, even if you missed the show, the concert in its entirety will be available for streaming soon after it's over. Other acts in the series include John Legend and the Roots, though we're especially excited about Arcade Fire. After all, the critically acclaimed band recently pledged up to $1 million for earthquake relief efforts in Haiti, the native land of bandmember Régine Chassagne. The band will match each $5 donation texted to 30333.
This concert series further reaffirms Google's commitment to becoming a premiere music destination. Only this week, Google tapped a top digital music attorney that some say signals an effort by the company to get past the many legal barriers separating it from becoming a cloud-based streaming music service. And that's not to mention Google's launch of YouTube Disco, autoplay playlists, or its partnership with VEVO.
"YouTube is increasingly the category killer," said Eric Garland, CEO of Big Champagne, this week at the New Music Seminar. "When people ask me what is the biggest name in music in my opinion, they want me to say Apple. I usually answer: YouTube."
"[It's become] the largest catalog of on-demand music on the Internet." Not to mention some pretty sick live concerts.