- Live streaming video on NBC’s Olympic Games digital platform is a hit with viewers this year, with live streaming minutes on Saturday reaching 155 million, a 263% lift over 2012, and unique users reaching 11.3 million, a 7% increase over 2012.
- Even though the linear TV ratings for Friday’s opening ceremony dropped a disappointing 28% over 2012’s London Games, Sunday drew in a large audience that gave NBC the best Friday through Sunday Summer Olympics ratings since 1992.
- Sunday’s live streaming numbers were even more impressive with 231 million minutes, a 307% increase over the same day in 2012, and 12.2 million unique users, a 24% increase over 2012.
While viewers of NBC's Olympics broadcast on TV expressed frustration over ad interruptions and the tape delay, driving down NBC's ratings, the network's digital streaming viewership numbers were more impressive.
The success of NBC’s digital live streaming efforts — and the dramatic increases over the 2012 games in terms of digital engagement — serves as an illustration of growing importance of streaming video. Once limited to linear TV, people are increasingly willing to watch content in different ways and on different screens.
The results should not come as a surprise to Marketing Dive readers. Research conducted by the Rubicon Project and Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates found that 44% of viewers said they they would watch the games live on their computers, while 36% said they would watch on their mobile devices.
Second-screening is another activity that has siphoned attention toward mobile and desktop screens during what is traditionally just TV watching. Social media is one place where many consumers are likely to shift their attention: Research commissioned by Facebook before the Olympics kicked off found that two-thirds of its users were “likely” to seek Olympic-related content on Facebook and Instagram, and most social media platforms are providing users with special tools such as custom emoji sets and filters with an Olympic theme.
Even though Olympic fans are flocking to NBC’s digital video streams and social platforms, marketers should be aware the U.S. Olympic Committee's long list of prohibited keywords and actions that brands cannot use on social media. Official Olympic sponsors are the only brands allowed to use any of the hashtags and imagery through August 24, according to the committee.