Certain ironies regarding this past weekend's Live Earth concert have already been noted. Especially the criticism that a rock concert in itself is pretty intrinsically eco-unfriendly, owing to the cost of electricity, the emissions created by massive rock acts on tour, and the litter such events leave behind.
Unfortunately for critics, when you gauge the concert's impact in terms of total user participation, Live Earth's overall carbon footprint was substantially offset by those who watched the concert online. According to Advertising Age, MSN "reported that 10 million streams were initiated...the day of the show." Now, do note, a "stream" does not necessarily equal one viewer, but in terms of content delivery, those figures represent a significant milestone. And Live Earth content is still being disseminated--YouTube is simply chock-a-block with footage, all of which can be enjoyed in a fittingly environmentally-friendly way.
Of course, one point is worth debating: does the medium support the music, or the message? There's no metric, unfortunately, that would allow this to be gauged. Those who support the Live Earth cause will likely claim that every bit of online success helps (and it could be argued that the internet could support a "green" paradigm of concert viewing). Those who were predisposed to hate on the affair will likely tell you that none of what happens online matters, and that the numbers, however gaudy, should be dismissed.
That said, viewed competitively, Live Earth is flat out crushing the critics, isn't it?
[Note: Live Earth flopped on the tube? Bravo begs to differ: it's coverage brought the cable network record ratings.]
Online Live Earth Traffic Soars, TV Viewing Slumps [Advertising Age]
Bravo Scores With Live Earth [Broadcasting and Cable]