For three days, Internet viewers were treated at their homes to sets by superstars like Kanye West, the Strokes, Arcade Fire, Duran Duran, and nearly 60 other artists at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival which was broadcast live on YouTube. At any given moment, they could choose from performances on three separate stages--each of which had its own channel with multiple high quality camera angles--and all with low lag, few technical glitches, and fairly unobtrusive advertising.
In short, if you couldn't be at Coachella, this was the next best thing. And it didn't cost a dime. Or require waiting in line in scorching Southern California desert heat for a porta-potty.
Over the three days, nearly 4 million people from all over the world took advantage of the opportunity to see what the festival was like. And almost certainly, thousands of those watching decided that they have to go in person next year, even as the bands that played no doubt picked up large numbers of new fans they would never before have been able to reach.
For more on this story, read How YouTube's Coachella Webcast changed the world on CNET News.