World Cup Streaming Numbers Show Online Video Not Replacing TV

Today, Akamai released details on the number of streams they served for 24 global broadcasters into 65 countries during the World Cup. While traffic to World Cup websites saw a lot of growth from previous years, the number of actual video viewers for the live games peaked at only 1.6M simultaneous streams. Although many in the industry want to proclaim that online video is going to replace TV or become the new medium for viewing video in large numbers, as we saw with the World Cup, that clearly did not happen.

Compared to the Obama inauguration, where Akamai peaked at 3.6M simultaneous viewers, the World Cup was small in size. Akamai wasn't the only CDN to deliver live streams of the World Cup, but they were the largest. So even if you add in the number of simultaneous streams the other CDNs served, the total number of overall viewers watching World Cup games at any give time shows online video isn't displacing TV anytime soon.

  • Dan, don’t you think the more convenient/appropriate delivery tool will prevail? It’s not the pipe that matters to content viewers. Traditionally people turn watching the World Cup into group/social events. Presently, the larger screen TV is more appropriate for groups to gather and watch than the common devices used to watch online video.

  • Hey Dan
    Interesting figure, but more interesting if we can get the same data from the previous two world cups.
    Its the growth between them, and the growth in the same metric of ‘traditional’ means that would be interesting.
    If the audience has doubled since the last world cup online, and only increased by a few % then this trend is the important one.