London 2012 has been hailed as the first ever ‘mobile Olympics’ with smartphone penetration ensuring that large numbers of people watched and commentated on the Olympics on the move for the first time. As a result it comes as no surprise that London 2012 saw Vodaphone recording their highest spike in mobile data usage ever recorded in the UK beating past peaks such as the Royal Wedding and New Year’s Eve.
Of course, Usain Bolt’s much-anticipated sprint generated the highest spike in traffic and the minutes after the race saw a massive 80,000 tweets per minute. People weren’t just commenting on the action, but were also re-living all the drama. The minutes after the race also set a record for the largest amount of video data per second ever streamed across the Vodafone network.
Other games highlights also saw surges in mobile usage with an average increase of 25% in mobile data around medal winning moments. When Olympic hero, Mo Farah took gold, Vodaphone alone served up enough data to stream video to one screen for more than 40 years!
Despite a surge in mobile usage, the majority of online video streaming still came from desktop/laptop computers. Of the 106m requests for online Olympic video content, only 12m were from smartphones. For more general browsing these figures were much higher with 40% of Olympic browsing done from a mobile device – nearly as many as the 47% who used desktop/laptop computer. During weekdays, smartphone browsing fell to 30% but still shows how much the way we browse online has changed in the last 4 years.
Up to 24 channels at any one time streamed BBC coverage to television sets through the red button and over the internet. However, red button viewing was overtaken by nearly 35m unique browsers to the BBC website.
The Olympics has been a great example of media owners making full use of mobile platforms. Video and news content was readily available 24 hours a day wherever users were. Given the huge numbers of people using these different platforms, it’s clear that the demand well and truly here for 360 coverage of events. What’s Hot certainly hopes that commercial broadcasters paid attention. Roll of the Paralympics.