Katy Perry is a fiiirework, but YouTube is betting that it can draw people away from her Super Bowl XLIX halftime appearance with its own live-streaming show.
Instead of Perry and Lenny Kravitz, YouTube is trying to attract viewers with the star power of ... Harley Morenstein? He is the guy behind Epic Meal Time. The quirky YouTube cooking channel has attracted more than 6.67 million people with gastronomic monstrosities like the "Maximum Mac & Cheese," a pile of various meat products, pasta and gooey cheese that clocked in at 85, 253 calories.
The YouTube halftime show will be filmed in Los Angeles and feature more than 20 YouTube creators, including Morenstein, musical comedians Rhett and Link, and Toby Turner, who does ... something. As Morenstein told Bloomberg, the show will involve someone diving into a pool of beer and a pool of cheese, which seems extremely appropriate considering the Super Bowl snack choices of many Americans.
NBC, which will air the game on Feb. 1, probably doesn't have too much to worry about. (TODAY also airs on NBC). Last year, Fox's halftime show starring Bruno Mars attracted 115.3 million viewers, more than any other Super Bowl halftime show in history.
When the YouTube halftime show streams live, Andrew Davis, will be watching.
"The fact that they are bringing a bunch of YouTube stars who I watch individually together for one show is a real exciting opportunity," Davis, a marketing consultant and writer who lives in Boston, told TODAY.
"I consider myself an avid football fan and I generally like the halftime shows," he said. "I don't know if it's this year's performance or that YouTube has an alternative, but it just sounds really fun to me."
Not that halftime alternatives are new. In 1992, "In Living Color" aired a halftime special. MTV has done the same with "Beavis and Butthead" and "Celebrity Deathmatch." And of course there is Animal Planet's extremely popular "Puppy Bowl."
But YouTube's halftime special speaks to a new generation used to watching things online. That includes another popular aspect of the Super Bowl. No, not the football. The commercials.
YouTube has you covered there, too. Its AdBlitz channel is already showing teasers for Super Bowl ads. Last year, according to YouTube, people watched 6.3 million hours worth of Super Bowl commercials on the channel.
While Internet companies try to capitalize on the popularity of the Super Bowl, NBC will be going digital by streaming the entire game, including halftime, online.
The great thing about watching TV today is that you don't really need to choose between your favorite programs.
"I will probably tune into both and see which one is better," Kimberlee Van Der Wall, a social media strategist in New York City, told TODAY.
And is she worried about being missing an exciting, Janet Jackson-esque moment during the Katy Perry performance?
"No," she said. "It will be all over the Internet within a few minutes."