Those that believe what happens in Washington and government in general is more important that the funeral of a major celebrity can take heart today as the much ballyhooed memorial service for Michael Jackson didn’t break the streaming records set by Barack Obama’s inauguration as our 44th president.
While the numbers were big, Jackson’s 2.185 million streams served over Akamai fell well short of the 7 million delivered when President Obama was sworn in to office, says MediaMemo’s Peter Kafka. CNN claims it served 781,000 concurrent streams for Jackson, which lags behind the 1.3 million served on January 20. Ustream did have its biggest day ever, serving 4.6 million streams through its partnership with CBS.
That’s not to say the King of Pop’s service didn’t flood the Interwebs. Akamai said it surpassed 2 terabits per second during the memorial service, according to GigaOM. Also, there were over 3.9 million visitors per second at the height of the service at 1pm EST, second to the 4.24 million/second visitors that hit news sites on June 25, the day Jackson’s death shocked the world.
Overall, the Internet seems to have held up better to the memorial than it did to news of Jackson’s death. Anecdotally, there didn’t seem to be many complaints on network slowness or sites going down on Twitter and other sources during the service, unlike when Jackson died. Obviously with that much traffic, there were some slow downs though. Gomez said its Internet “availability index” fell to 98.2 percent at one point yesterday, down from the usual level of 99.65 percent. It also said Twitter suffered from a heavy traffic load, though I didn’t notice any odd issues with the service during the funeral broadcast yesterday.
While Obama’s numbers were bigger, Michael Jackson’s memorial is still a major milestone for the Web and its ability to stream live events efficiently to a global audience.
But now, we can get back to more important things, as President Obama himself predicted: “Michael Jackson, like Elvis, like Sinatra, when somebody whose captivated the imagination of the country for that long passes away, people pay attention. And I assume at some point people will start focusing again on things like nuclear weapons.”