Obama inauguration - No. 5 most watched event

Bambi Francisco Roizen · January 21, 2009 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/661

College basketball playoffs and U.S. losing to Ghana in World Cup are more popular

President Barack Obama may be popular, but his inauguration speech seems to have attracted less of an audience or pageviews and streams combined than college basketball playoffs and the time when the U.S. lost to Ghana in the World Cup. 

Obama's inauguration attracted 5.4 million visitors per minutes, according to early figures released by Akamai. This makes the inauguration the fifth most watched event on the Web since Akamai began tracking and recording traffic levels since 2005. The No. 1 event was Obama's victory speech on Nov 4, 2008.

This said, there could be a reason that Obama's speech did not rank high on the list of Web consumption, according to Jeff Young, director of corporate communications at Akamai.

"It is hard to always do an apples to apples comparison of news events, but it should be pointed out the difference between yesterday and Nov. 4th (Election Night), as a means of ranking news," he said. "On Nov. 4th, as an example, traffic (or visitors per minute) was so high to news sites because users went from page to page, site to site to get Election returns. Users refreshed their browsers constantly to get updated data points.  Nov. 4th was all about page view consumption. This was also the case in the World Cup match between U.S. and Ghana."

On Tuesday, however, viewers accessed a stream and then stayed on that stream, thus bringing down the visitors-per-minute count. In fact, based on streams, Tuesday's inauguration was the largest streaming event Akamai ever delivered, according to Young. "It created the highest peak (over 2 Tbps) of content served simultaneously on our network."

Here is the list of the top 15 most watched events on the Web, based on total visitors per minute.

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Bambi Francisco Roizen

Founder and CEO of Vator, a media and research firm for entrepreneurs and investors; Managing Director of Vator Health Fund; Co-Founder of Invent Health; Author and award-winning journalist.

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