President Barack Obama's inauguration didn't set all-time Internet traffic records but did mark the most simultaneous streaming-video viewers in the Web's history, according to content delivery network Akamai Technologies.
About 7.7 million video streams, primarily live, were being viewed at peak time Tuesday, which was at about 12:15 p.m. EST, Akamai said. Part of the reason, the company rationalizes, is that the inauguration ceremony happened when most Americans were at the office, and hence more likely to be watching via a computer screen rather than a television.
"In addition to the historic nature of the inauguration, it is now clear that this event has driven unprecedented demand from a global online audience," Robert Hughes, Akamai's executive vice president of global sales and marketing, said in a release. "With the inauguration occurring during workday hours in the U.S., we witnessed record numbers of live streams served in support of many leading news businesses."
Video from the inauguration ceremony and surrounding events was streamed all over the Web, from online video hubs like Hulu to streaming sites like Ustream to the sites of major news outlets. Demand was unprecedented: CNN.com, one of the most popular viewing destinations, had to cut off viewers and establish a wait list.