Donald Trump’s staff and the media may still be debating how many people were actually present during the inauguration, but the event did set new records for online streaming.
Content delivery network (CDN) service provider Akamai reported that video streaming coverage of the 2017 Presidential Inauguration was the largest single live news event that the company has delivered.
Live video streaming of the Inauguration peaked at 8.7 Tbps at 12:04 p.m. on Saturday.
Being one of the largest CDN providers to 15 of the world’s largest broadcasters, Akamai is in a good position to measure video streaming of large events like a presidential inauguration.
“The presidential inauguration is the latest in a series of record-breaking live, online video streaming events that we have supported over the last year,” said Bill Wheaton, EVP and General Manager of Media at Akamai, in a statement. “More people than ever are watching video online, and it’s being done across more devices at increasingly higher levels of quality.”
By comparison, Akamai said that Barack Obama’s 2009 Inauguration reached 1.1 Tbps on Akamai and the Royal Wedding in 2011 hit 1.3 Tbps.
More recently, the 2016 European soccer tournament final peaked at 7.3 Tbps and the Rio women's team gymnastics final hit 4.5 Tbps.
Twitter also sees gains
Twitter also reported strong viewing numbers of its live streaming audience for the inauguration. Interestingly, the inauguration was higher than the amount of people who viewed the Election Night in November.
The social media’s live stream of “PBS NewsHour” coverage of the 2017 presidential inauguration day reached 6.82 million unique viewers.
This surpassed the 6.8 million unique viewers who tuned in to BuzzFeed’s Nov. 8 Election Night live stream on Twitter. The broadcast peaked at 377,000 concurrent viewers at approximately 12:15 p.m. ET as Trump took the oath of office.
Some of the other online sites that streamed Trump’s inauguration included YouTube, Facebook, CNN Digital and Fox News Channel. Trump’s inauguration, reported Entertainment Weekly had 16.9 million live streams on CNN.
Overall viewership trails Obama
From an overall television viewing perspective, Trump’s inauguration was watched by 30.6 million viewers across 12 networks, according to Nielsen’s ratings.
In all, 12 television networks aired live coverage from about 10:00 a.m. ET to 6:00 p.m. ET on Friday.
At the same time, CNN Digital said in a statement it had measured 16.9 million digital views of the inauguration on its platforms.
According to Nielsen's measurements of television viewership, Trump’s inauguration trails Obama’s inauguration in 2009 of 37.7 million viewers. Earlier, Ronald Reagan’s inauguration in 1981 had 37.4 million viewers, but only on three networks: ABC, NBC and CBS.