AOL Hopes to Replicate Live 8 Success

Ushering in the “next stage of digital entertainment,” chief executives from America Online, XM Satellite Radio, and AEG on Tuesday launched Network Live, a multi-platform live entertainment programming venture to be led by the producer of the Live 8 concerts.

“We’re creating the network of the future — being able to access content any time, anywhere, on any device,” said Kevin Wall, an entertainment veteran who will take the helm of the new company as CEO.

The venture will combine live events held in venues owned by sports and entertainment presenter AEG, as well as those produced by AOL and XM. The events, primarily concerts and comedy, will be licensed to various outlets, including AOL, XM, and partners in other verticals to be named in coming weeks.

In addition to licensing revenues, the company will sell advertising and sponsorships for events. Distribution partners will also be able to sell their own advertising around the content on their networks, both for the live events and later on-demand viewings.

The strategy was very successful for both AOL and XM with the recent Live 8 concerts. AOL streamed the concerts live on the Internet, and XM dedicated 7 channels to “Olympic-style” coverage.

“As Live 8 proved, this is a new era for live entertainment on the Web,” said Jon Miller, chairman and CEO of AOL. “This venture taps into the immediacy of the Internet for live shows and live shows on demand.”

Network Live is funded by the three partner companies and Wall. The stake each partner holds was not disclosed.

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