Inauguration Numbers: CDNs Deliver Over 8 Million Simultaneous Video Streams

While it is impossible to know the exact number of people that watched the event at one time, Akamai, Limelight and Highwinds combined did over eight million simultaneous streams for Obama's inauguration video, across all of their customers. Limelight said they peaked at around 2.5 million streams, Highwinds say they saw about 625,000 and my estimate is that Akamai did around 5 million.

While Akamai put out a press release saying they did seven million simultaneous streams across their network, they did not break out how many of those were just for the inauguration. Since they peak at around a million streams already on any given day and the release states that some of the seven million streams were on demand, I figure Akamai did around five million simultaneous just for today's inauguration. (I have a call into Akamai asking for an explanation and will update the post when I hear back)

In addition, CDNs including Level 3 and others delivered some live streams of the event, but in much smaller numbers. Adding all of them up and I think a fair estimate would be that between 8-9 million people were all watching a live video stream at the same time.

Hard to know how this compares to other events since most of the CDNs don't give out simultaneous stream counts, but it's definitely up there in terms of being a large number across all of the CDNs combined.

  • George

    “Limelight said they peaked at around 2.5 million streams”. Can you break out how many of those were just for the inauguration? You kind of misleading readers that Limelight did half of inauguration traffic that Akamai did.

  • All 2.5 million of them were for the inauguration.Read the Limelight release. “…the company delivered President Barack Obama’s inaugural address live over the Internet to an estimated 2.5 million viewers”

  • angelica

    Limelight does not say they did 2.5 million concurrent streams. They state that 2.5 million have watched the stream in total. And that most watched the entire inauguration. But there is no actual peak data.

  • Hi Angelica, when I wrote the post I was not going by Limelight’s release as I put out the numbers before their release even came out, hence why there was no link to the release at the time I wrote the post.
    I spoke to Limelight directly and just re-confirmed this morning the number. I quote, “Yes, it was at least 2.5 million simultaneous streams just for the inauguration.”
    I agree their wording should have made that clearer in the release.