The Royal Wedding is an Internet Record Breaker

The live streaming of Prince William and Kate’s ceremony received 1.6 million simultaneous views, making it the biggest event viewed on the web.

The wedding, which was streamed by YouTube and other websites, exceeded other important video events like Michael Jackson’s funeral.

This is one more indicator that the internet has “become a broadcast medium,” said Jeff Young, spokesman for Akamai which provides streaming-media services for over 300 news websites. Obama’s inauguration in January 2009 and Michael Jackson’s funeral in June 2009 were “both really large events, but as time goes on and technology improves, you’re finding more people consuming more video on more devices,” such as smartphones and tablets, Young said.

“Over those two years, there’s been an influx of connected devices, tablets, mobile phones.”

Livestream also beat its own record with over 300,000 simultaneous live streams.

The royal wedding ranked at number 6 in terms of internet traffic for news.

“At about 6 a.m. Eastern time, there was a sharp increase in traffic, and it peaks at about 9:30 a.m., with more than 5 million page views per minute,” said Young.

Although the 2010 received almost as much views as the royal wedding, the internet traffic peaked in the last few minutes of the event. Whereas in the royal wedding, the hours leading to the ceremony, the wedding itself, and the post-nuptials, enticed the viewers for a longer duration.

“The World Cup was a pretty narrow peak because people were tuning in the final seconds of the game, and once they saw the scores, they tuned out,” Young said. “The coverage of the royal wedding this morning has been much more sustained; it looks more like a mountain and less than a spike.”

Even BBC online reported that the amount of traffic on its site caused the website to slow down.

Yahoo also reported that it broke records with regards to traffic and video consumption.

The royal wedding set an “all-time record traffic for a live video event on Yahoo,” eclipsing the previous record, held by Michael Jackson’s funeral, by 21 percent, a Yahoo spokesman said. “This is especially impressive given that this event happened during non-peak hours.”

“Requests per second have surpassed previous records set by the Japan earthquake, 40,000 per second at today’s peak, compared to 33,000 per second,” said a Yahoo spokesman, and that Yahoo’s top two stories — “the dress” and “the kiss” — “have already driven more than 6 million clicks combined.”


Also, on Twitter, the top 10 most popular topic words on Friday morning were all linked to the royal wedding, including words like “casamentoreal” (Portuguese for “royal wedding”) and “abadia” (Spanish for “abbey,” referring to Westminster Abbey, where the ceremony took place).

In turn, Facebook was bustling with “the royal wedding”  “Princess Diana” “Kate’s dress” and “God save the queen” as popular topics.

On a global level, more than 6.8 million people “commented on the royal wedding through public status updates on Facebook in the past 24 hours,” and “more than 9.4 million “comments through status updates in the past week,” said a spokeswoman for Facebook.