One week ago today, we reported that we delivered President Obama’s inaugural address live over the Internet to an estimated 2.5 million viewers, one of the largest live Internet events ever recorded. We chose to announce this specific number, as opposed to other network data, because we believed it was the statistic most able to provide a picture of the Inauguration Day Internet.
However, some of our competitors chose to release a different statistic, specifically the total number of all audio and video streams from all of their customers delivered on their network at approximately 12:15 p.m on that day. Since that number is different than the one we released, it has been difficult for customers and journalists to get a clear picture of what actually was happening across the entire web. And, admittedly, its caused some unfair apples-to-oranges comparisons in the media. So our world-class engineering team went back and re-processed our logs, and what we found was…
At 12:15 on January 20, 2009, at approximately 12:15 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, there were 9,008,990 unique streams of Adobe Flash and Windows Media streams being delivered by our network. Of those streams, approximately 2.5 million of them were specifically related to the inaugural address.
- This number is for unique streams, meaning that we only counted the first stream a viewer watched that we delivered.
- This number is for Adobe Flash and Windows Media formats only. It does not include any of the other audio and video formats we support.
- We did not cap bandwidth for any of our customers during this traffic-heavy time. This is because our intelligent, network-based CDN has the capacity to absorb spikes in traffic much more gracefully than Internet-based CDNs. When we say broadcast-quantity audiences, we mean it.
With all of those streams, its probably not a surprise that we were called one of the “clear winners” on Inauguration Day, with ATLAS data across the ten US consumers access networks showing a significant increase in traffic from our network (median of 160%).
Most importantly, we were able to service the increased needs of our customers that were directly involved in the Inauguration event, while still providing the same level of service to customers that were not.
And – wow – what a snapshot of ‘Net activity! Combine all of the public figures, and you’ll see that 16+ million streams of rich media were being watched around the world during lunchtime on the East Coast last Tuesday . That’s a very powerful and telling example of just how the Internet has become a mainstream information, entertainment, and communication platform.