Ovewhelmed by Demand for Live Inauguration Views, CNN.com Puts “Overflow” Visitors in a “Waiting Room”

By on 01/20/2009 5:12 PM @beet_tv

Driven by unprecedented demand for live online video of the Inauguration of Barack Obama, CNN.com was forced to limit the number of viewers of its online stream during the speech. 

Some visitors who logged-on during the speech saw a message, explaining that they would be put in a "queue" and provided the stream when available.  Here's the explanation provided to Beet.TV by a CNN.com spokesperson:

built capacity for CNN.com Live to handle well above and beyond what was, to our
knowledge, the most viewed live video event in Internet history. Anticipating
that this would be a high traffic event concentrated in time, we arranged for a
“Waiting Room,” in order to queue people wanting to view as capacity became
available without degrading the experience for CNN.com Live’s users active
sessions. Judging from CNN.com Live’s experience, the Internet at-large
performed pretty well at what’s likely to prove a significant new level of video
throughput: another coming of age event for streaming video online."

According to early data, as of 3:30p
ET today, CNN.com has generated more than 136 million page views, while CNN.com
Live served more than 21.3 million live video streams globally since 6 a.m.,
shattering its all time total daily streaming record set on Election Day with
5.3 million live streams (Source: Omniture SiteCatalyst, global). Additionally,
CNN.com Live estimates it served more than 1.3 million concurrent live streams
during its peak, which occurred immediately prior to President Obama’s inaugural
address (Source: Internal CDN monitoring data).

Update from CNN at 6:00p ET 

As of  6:00p ET today, CNN.com has
generated more than 158.5 million page views, while CNN.com Live served more
than 25 million live streams globally since 6a, shattering its all time total
daily streaming record set on Election Day with 5.3 million live streams.
(Source: Omniture SiteCatalyst, global). Additionally, CNN.com Live estimates it
served more than 1.3 million concurrent live streams during its peak, which
occurred immediately prior to President Obama’s inaugural address. (Source:
Internal CDN monitoring data).

Dan Rayburn Rates the Streaming Sites

Dan Rayburn, the head of Streaming Media and keen observer of streaming video just published his review.  He says that CBS had the best streams.  He complains about the CNN "Waiting Room" in his post.

Update:  Caroline McCarthy over at CNET News has a round-up of Web demand for streaming.

Update:  Here's another round-up by Ashlee Vance at The New York Times.

…and Stacy Higginbotham writes at NewTeeVee that she was so frustrated with trying to watch the Inauguration on line that she fired up the old boob tube. Sounds like "oldteevee" but it works.

1/21 Update: Eric Schonfeld at TechCrunch grumbles about the problems with streaming yesterday.

— Andy Plesser, Executive Producer

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