John O’Donnovan has an interesting post over on the BBC Internet blog talking about how the BBC’s Olympic content has been consumed over different media channels, including web, desktop and mobile.
Whilst I recommend that you read the entire post, especially for the insight John provides into how the BBC publishes content across different platforms, there are some statistical highlights I wanted to share here that really demonstrate how the BBC are putting Adobe’s technology to work.
Like most of the worldwide online Olympics coverage, notably bar NBC’s output in the US, the BBC used Flash Player to deliver both live and on-demand video content.
Whilst the BBC has just started publishing H.264 content on the iPlayer service, the Olympics coverage was output using the ON2 VP6 codec at 384kbps – even so, the quality and performance of the video, together with a choice of upto 7 streams, made for a really good online experience.
The sheer quantity of video content consumed through the BBC’s sport site is pretty amazing, and really shows how video on the web has taken a huge leap forward since the last Olympics in 2004 – here are some of the statistics (bare in mind that this is from just a UK audience):
- Nearly 40 million video streams served over the web
- Peak of 200,000 concurrent live and ondemand streams
- Over 6.5 million hours of Olympics video content consumed online
- Up to 5.5 million video clips watched each day
In addition, the BBC also launched a cross-OS desktop widget, running on Adobe AIR, that provided Olympics news and event alerts – this was installed by over 50,000 people and I think represents a solid start for the BBC’s use of this technology.
Further statistics on both video consumption and the AIR application downloads will be published on the BBC Internet blog once the Olympics are over.
Looking forward to the 2012 Olympics in London, one can only predict that the quantity and quality of online video content will continue to increase.