Who was your favorite Olympian at this year’s Games? While the tween girls were rooting for Gabby Douglas and the empathetic fans cheered on Oscar Pistorius, I believed online video would bring home gold. Online video was already breaking records earlier this year, according to the number of hours watched and viewer consumption rates, but the London 2012 Olympics were a game-changing milestone for online video. Here’s why.
NBC announced that weekday viewership of this year’s Summer Games averaged 7.1 million daily and 31.5 million viewers per night, a record for non-U.S. Games and a 31 percent and 12 percent lift from the Beijing 2008 Games, respectively. The total audience as of August 10 totaled 212.7 million, making it the most watched event in U.S. television history for a multi-day broadcast.
Despite video streaming all of the Olympic sports events live, NBC’s prime-time ratings were unaffected. Could this have been attributed to “TV Everywhere” – authenticating multiple devices that allowed viewers to watch the coverage live? I think so.
NBC brings TV everywhere
While early in the Games it looked like NBC was not going to place for a medal due to the time delays that resulted in the Twitterverse’s #NBCfail trend, the network closed the event with gold. NBC delivered TV Everywhere in which more than 100 million video streams were consumed, including 45 million live video streams in just the first 10 days of the Olympics, by nearly 10 million U.S. pay-TV subscribers who authenticated their computers, smartphones and tablets, according to the National Inflation Association (NIA) survey. Clearly, this year’s Olympics was the much-needed tipping point in TV Everywhere consumption. I anticipate this service platform is about to boom, well, everywhere.
Additionally, 77 percent of NBC’s Olympic TV Everywhere users recommended that their friends and family members also authenticate themselves to use the service. And we know that customer loyalty and recommendations go hand-in-hand. For detailed results of NIA’s NBC Olympic TV Everywhere survey, please visit NIA’s homepage.
Viewership scores from multi-platform programming
Online video viewing soared thanks to mobile viewing on smartphones and tablets; almost half of NBC’s Olympic video streams were to these devices. NBC found great success by streaming live and on-demand videos on all four screens for generation C, but it wasn’t the only media giant to do so.
Yahoo drew more than two billion page views across all three Web screens, generating double the page views from the Vancouver and Beijing Olympics combined. It must have anticipated this video consumption surge across multiple platforms, as the company optimized coverage for all browsers on all three devices.
Dubbed the first digital Olympics, this year was by far the most connected Games ever. London 2012 has served as a catalyst for changes in the way viewers consume live events, especially sports. I can’t wait to see what online and digital trends pop up during Rio 2016.