Mainstream TV audiences are too big for the internet right now

MSN has apparently broken the record for the most live video streams, reaching over 10 million streams with their online coverage of the Live Earth concert.

What’s notable about this is how those audience figures compare with traditional TV viewing figures. In the UK, popular shows regular pull over 10 million viewers. The Live Earth show allegedly reached several hundred million concurrent viewers via traditional and satellite broadcast.

Whilst the internet makes it easy for people to watch recorded programmes whenever they want and hence reduces the likelihood of concurrent viewing of a single programme, the same number of people watching different content still places a hefty burden on the internet distribution infrastructure. Were TV audience to flip onto internet delivered TV today, I rather suspect it would be a frustrating experience for all concerned. Moreover, I suspect MSN threw a lot of technicians at the Live Earth broadcast because of its’ scale. As such, we are definitely in baby-steps territory.


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