The Presidential Inauguration Proved That Everyone Is Falling In Love With Live Streaming


Feb 7, 2017, 16:42 PM by Mary Reynolds Kane

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There have been plenty of discussions surrounding the size of the crowd in the nation’s capital for the 2017 Presidential Inauguration, but one fact isn’t up for debate: loads of people tuned in online for the event. Akamai Technologies, the Massachusetts-based content delivery company that supported the live broadcast on January 20, said the event set a new record for viewership with a peak of 8.7 Tbps at the opening of the President’s speech.

“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,” Bill Wheaton, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Media at Akami, said 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.”

To put the massive growth in live online content consumption in perspective, consider that Akami’s broadcast of the 2009 Presidential Inauguration peaked at 1.1 Tbps. However, Sarah Perez at TechCrunch highlighted that comparing these numbers doesn’t provide a full picture. “Looking at live video data from several years ago isn’t a viable comparison,” Perez wrote. “So much has changed in the time since, including the rise of HD video streaming, which demands higher bitrates, and an increased number of live video viewers.”

That number will continue to increase as more viewers get comfortable with watching videos on small screens. In fact, by the time the next Presidential Inauguration occurs in 2021, Cisco estimates that 75 percent of the world’s mobile data traffic will be from video.

MORE: The Important Lesson Meeting Professionals Should Learn From The Election

Are You Looking At Live Streaming With A Mobile-First Mindset?

Event professionals must consider how the explosion of live streaming in the consumer world will impact their content strategies. As people watch Presidential speeches, PGA golf tournaments and award shows from their tablets and smartphones, they will expect the same level of convenience when tuning in for webinars and other educational programming. Want to see how one organization leveraged live streaming in particularly innovative fashion? Click HERE to see how the International Woodworking Fair used Facebook Live to connect with a bigger audience and inspire some last-minute attendees to follow the broadcast all the way to the face-to-face event.