Since Spark’s spring launch, we’ve hosted multiple live stream events on Spark Live! to keep us all feeling connected and entertained.
We know that finding downtime to sit for a scheduled live streaming event can be tricky these days. Below are highlights which you can find in the live streaming video playlist archive to watch on your own time. For upcoming on-demand viewing and for great recommendations, check out our #StayAtHome Entertainment guide.
Whatever your flavor or your need for inspiration – entertainment, work or play – here’s hoping these live streams have and will continue to provide you with that spark. ????
Global Citizen and Lady Gaga unite celebrity performers in tribute
Among the first remotely-organized and streamed live “at home” collective productions during this pandemic, Global Citizen (an advocacy nonprofit to end poverty), the WHO and Lady Gaga gathered a massive group of celebrities and influencers on Saturday April 18 for ‘One World: Together at Home.’ MSN featured all the marathon EIGHT hours of star-powered musical performances and celebrity tributes to health care workers.
Megawatt names like Andrea Bocelli, Celine Dion, Taylor Swift, The Rolling Stones and Lady Gaga are just a tiny sample of the incredible talent that performed for the world. In the final hours of the special, the headliners were co-hosted by an amazing team of late-night competitors, Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Fallon. You can watch the archived special on globalcitizen.org!
Verizon pays it forward with Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell
Next up was the Verizon “Pay It Forward Live” concert on April 22nd, airing straight from the family home of Grammy award-winning sister and brother duo Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell (via axsTV). During this weekly live video series, the telecommunications giant donates $10 each time viewers use the hashtag #PayItForwardLive and tag their fave small business, with a target of $2.5M to support small business COVID-19 relief efforts.
Behind the Billboard
The Microsoft News-Billboard partnership has streamed live concerts by artists like Kwesi Arthur (Platoon Africa Artist Showcase), an exclusive to Billboard Live at Home with Doja Cat, and Grouplove! Check in daily for their continuous live programming!
But the Spark Live! spotlight is not just on those that can sing…
The NFL felt the gnawing pain of sports-deprived fans: On April 24, the football league launched the NFL Draft-A-Thon for live television and across MSN.com for three entire days! Throughout the livestreamed NFL draft, beloved NFL players like co-host Deion Sanders gave some real-time color commentary with other celebrity athletes and gaming influencers in video conferences. Even Mixer’s own Ninja joined the mix — not surprising, as eSports competitions have taken over sports broadcast channels. The draft drama and mélange of outspoken talent were a massive hit across MSN Sports, Spark Live! and the MSN homepage.
Freeing the mind on Spark Live!
Maintaining mental health during the COVID-19 crisis is a key reason behind Spark. On May 1st, Microsoft kicked off Mental Health Awareness Month with a speakers’ panel. In collaboration with musician and influencer Lauv (Ari Leff), Microsoft facilitated this mental health discussion panel that included popular singers Alessia Cara, Anne-Mare and Sofia Reyes and was moderated by Teen Line. In support of this special live-streamed event, the Microsoft News team created a special topic page, promoting it on Spark! before and during the event.
It was an authentic conversation that showed talking about mental health is vital during these unprecedented times of isolation and lack of physical connection. Lauv’s passion for mental health awareness shines through in his concerts, his philanthropy work, and his social media dialogue. “Even though it can seem like we are alone in the things we are feeling, there are millions of other people going through the same thing. So that’s really important to me,” says Lauv about his purpose.
The live-streamed video discussion panel, “Breaking Modern Loneliness: A Conversation on Mental Health,” was the perfect way for Microsoft to help amplify the digital conversation, and it also encouraged world-wide viewers to check out Lauv’s Blue Boy Foundation . His non-profit foundation is devoted to raising funds and awareness around mental health and the stigma of asking for help. More than 13,000 people have contributed to an interactive thought-sharing map created by Microsoft for Lauv. To date, the stream has had over 192,000 views across all platforms: Replay it here.
Working through work
For those of you trying hard to stay focused and creative working from home, or perhaps your company has gone through cuts due to COVID-19, LinkedIn Editors have created a series of live video events to help you through this tough time.
Here are few samples of supportive content from LinkedIn Editors that have run on Spark Live!…
LinkedIn Editors Live #BusinessUnusual [2.6M followers]:
COVID-19 Business Resource Center
On April 23rd, the Spark Live! microsite featured a multi-team collaboration with M365 and Microsoft News Labs teams: Labs director Ben Rudolph interviewed the BWW Media Group’s Brad Sams about “Remote Work for Journalists.” The ongoing partnership has powered the Microsoft 365 for Journalists self-serve training portal.
Elisabeth Rae Collett is a Program Manager at Microsoft and leads our Video and Multimedia Feeds product.