On Sunday night as Felix Baumgartner smashed not only the record for the highest free-fall, but the first skydiver to go faster than the speed of sound by reaching a maximum velocity of 833.9mph; other records were being smashed by Google’s YouTube.
With more than eight million people watching the live streaming on their devices, a Google spokesperson confirmed that the number of viewers simultaneously watching the Red Bull Stratos stunt live on YouTube was the sites highest.
With stomach-flipping viewing, this record achieved by YouTube doesn’t seem too surprising. It is another example of the sites ability to provide a worthwhile, up to date and far-reaching medium for world affairs and events. It is being reported that millions of people shared the awesome experience via computers, tablets and phones.
Riding high on the social media wave, Red Bull posted a picture on their Facebook site of the courageous Baumgartner seconds after he safely landed which was shared more than 29,000 times in less than 40 minutes and generating more than 216,000 likes. Twitter saw half the worldwide trending topics having something to do with the jump, with celebrities and brands pitching in on the discussion. As for blogging, well….what am I doing right now?!
All in all – it was a good evening for Red Bull, YouTube Facebook, Twitter, and of course Felix!
Whilst it’s easy to see the value in the exposure for these brands within all of these stats, it is interesting to understand what it is that managed to grasp so many to sit and watch this event on their portable devices. No doubt it was the awe-inspiring event itself! Other factors present were the broadcast time of around 7pm GMT, coupled with a touch of hype as the original flight was re-scheduled due to bad weather conditions.
All these and many more are reasons why YouTube attracted so many eager witnesses to their (personally) superb broadcasting. However, I guess the simple reason is that it was easy.
Multi-screen viewing is common place and in this case I reckon the majority of viewers were in their homes watching TV, whilst simultaneously watching the live streaming and reporting about it on social media via their phone. Studies reveal two modes of multi-viewing behaviour. The first being simultaneous viewing behaviour where someone will sit down, watch the telly and perhaps search for things they have seen on Ads, or search for answers to their favourite TV quiz show on a laptop and/or phone. The other is the behaviour seen in continued information gathering. This can start with the initial interest from TV which can be followed up with a search on their laptop/phone, perhaps picked up again with a tablet when the time is convenient.
Things being easy is such a human desire and it plays itself out well in these very human behaviours. So as another mankind feat is achieved, I wonder whether this is what Felix meant when he said after his jump ‘On the step, I felt that the whole world is watching’.