Initial Michael Jackson Memorial Online Viewer Numbers

Not the largest web event in history

As expected, the Michael Jackson public memorial held yesterday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles was one of the biggest online events in history. But it wasn't the biggest and, if you really wanted to make a top, by some rough estimates, it was the third largest after US president's Barack Obama Inauguration Ceremony and speech and after the actual news that the superstar had died.

In terms of online video streams watched, it came in after the Obama inauguration, with CNN reporting a maximum of 781,000 concurrent viewers at any one time and a total of 9.7 million streams delivered during the memorial, compared to 1.3 million simultaneous streams and 27 million total viewers during the US president's inauguration speech. Note that the numbers may not be final.

Facebook, which partnered with CNN and offered an integrated chat with the live stream, like it did during the inauguration, also released some numbers, claiming 733,000 status updates, 759,000 users viewing the streaming, and a peak of 6,000 status updates per minute on the CNN stream alone. Facebook was also integrated with other sites adding up to total of a little over 1 million viewers and 800,000 status updates. For comparison there were 1.8 million status updates with the word Obama during the inauguration.

Akamai, the world largest content delivery network, says it delivered 2,185,000 live streams in total, with traffic adding up to more than 2 Tbps during the memorial. The company also measured news site usage and found that a maximum of 3,924,370 visitors were using this type of sites, compared to an average 2 million, but still less than the 4,247,971 people on the day Michael Jackson died. More statistics are bound to come in today, which should make for a clearer picture.

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