Michael Jackson Funeral Live Streams, By the Numbers

This post has been updated multiple times as new stats have come in.

While it may not have topped the Obama Inauguration, as some expected, viewership for Michael Jackson’s memorial service today was immense. Here are some of the initial stats.

Akamai says via email it had its second-largest day ever of total traffic, after the inauguration. The CDN delivered more than 2,185,000 live and on-demand streams, with more than 2 terabits per second during the service. For the inauguration, Akamai had a peak of 7 million active simultaneous streams, again with more than 2 terabits per second traffic.

Between 12 a.m. and 4 p.m. EDT today, CNN.com had 72 million global page views, 10.8 million unique visitors and 8.9 million live video streams, according to Omniture. The site had 781,000 peak concurrent live streams, according to server logs. Update: New total numbers through 5 p.m. are 81 million page views, 11.8 million unique visitors and 9.7 million live video streams. (By contrast, CNN delivered more than 25 million streams in the 12 hours surrounding the Obama inauguration, with 1.3 million concurrent live streams just before Obama’s address.)

However, people did have a lot to say about Jackson, and early reports are showing significant and possibly record-breaking levels of interaction with live video feeds. Facebook reported 300,000 users logged in through its integration with CNN.com as of 10:30 a.m. (when the service started), with 500,000 status updates total and approximately 6,000 status updates per minute at that time. For the election, the integration had produced 4,000 status updates per minute, with a peak of 8,500 statuses per minute.

UPDATE: More stats are coming in:

MSNBC.com says that visitors watched 3 million live streams of Jackson’s service and the site had more than 82 million page views and 7 million unique visitors, as of 5 p.m. EDT. Update: MSNBC now reports more than 19 million total Jackson-related video streams on the day, topping its previous record from the Inauguration. Watchers spent an average of 12.1 minutes per visit on Jackson-related video. MSNBC’s Twitter integration through Tinker.com saw more than 75,000 Jackson-related Tweets, of which it displayed a selection.

And the following was sent out to members of Official Group for Media & Analysts Following Facebook:

There were a total of about 1 million users posting approximately 800,000 status updates on Facebook related to the live online broadcasts by CNN, E! Online, ABC and MTV of the Michael Jackson memorial service. Here is a breakdown by web site:


733,000 status updates

759,000 Facebook users viewing broadcast

6,000 updates/minute at the peak

E! Online:

9,000 status updates

87,000 Facebook users viewing broadcast


48,000 status updates

97,000 Facebook users viewing broadcast


5,000 status updates

21,000 Facebook users viewing broadcast

For context, there were 1.8 million Facebook status updates with the word “Obama” on Inauguration Day in the U.S. – an event that was broadly publicized for months leading up to it.

Ustream, which ran video feeds including an official one from its partner CBS News, said it had nearly 4.6 million total streams and 1.6 million total, with 12,000 messages per minute in accompanying chat rooms.

Over on oldteevee, Nielsen says: “The event was carried live from approximately 1pm ET to 4pm ET on 18 networks. The sum of average audience for those networks was 31,140,882 and had a combined household rating of 20.6.”

Transpera, which powers many mobile video offering, says mobile video views for sites with in its network that carried Jackson content network were up 88 percent above the norm.

ABC News reports nearly 6 million live Jackson memorial streams on ABCNEWS.com and on partner sites Yahoo!, Verizon, Charter, AT&T and RCN. Jackson-related content collected an additional 5 million video views on ABCNEWS.com, the ABC News channel on YouTube and the ABC News iPhone application. ABC News’ Facebook integration had nearly 100,000 Facebook members log in, with 50,000 total status updates.

MTV reports that its live stream of the memorial service ranked among its top 10 live streams ever. Unique visitors were up 28 percent versus the previous Tuesday, with time spent on the home page up 20 percent. Jackson-related video content including music video, documentaries and interviews has been seen more than 2.8 million times on MTV, MTVMusic, VH1, CMT, Logo, MTV Tr3s and mtvU since his death, up 10193 percent versus the comparable time period before his death.