2012: The year the Olympics went mobile

Fastest man on the planet

Did you watch fastest man on the planet Usain Bolt take the gold yesterday in the amazing 100m men’s final? Blink, and you could have missed it – he ran that fast. (By the way, here’s the race re-enacted using Lego – yes, Lego – for anyone who’d like to watch it with a slightly different perspective!)

 Or how about Andy Murray’s “biggest moment of his life” finally beating Roger Federer to the gold medal at Wimbledon?

And what about the most decorated Olympian ever, swimmer Michael Phelps with 18 Olympic Gold medals? 

Winning a Wimbledon Final (sort of...)

Now I’m going to take an educated guess and say you watched those clips on either your smartphone or tablet. Wrong? Well, I had an almost 50 percent chance of getting it right. 

According to American broadcaster NBC, which has the rights to the Olympics for the United States, these Games have seen a dramatic increase in online video viewing, with 64 million total video streams served across all platforms – that’s a massive 182 percent increase over Beijing – for the first five days. 

But what’s even more significant is the fact that, according to NBC research president Alan Wurtzel, 45 percent of these videos are being consumed from a combination of tablet and phones. As paidContent’s Robert Andrews writes

“Never mind “the first social media Olympics”… What’s really true is this – London’s is the first Summer Games when online video has been consumed in such high quantities and so avidly on portable devices.” 

Now if you watched any of the above clips on a desktop computer, chances are that you probably sneaked in a quick look during a quiet period at your office desk. But as Wurtzel notes: 

“Sixty percent of Americans don’t even work in an office. A lot of those folks are going to be watching on mobile for the first time.” 

Why stop at one Olympic gold medal when you can have 18?

And with Nielson reporting that smartphone owners are now the majority in terms of mobile phone ownership in the United States, by the time of the next Olympics (or even the Winter Olympics in two years’ time),  it won’t take an educated guess to predict how people will be consuming online Olympic video. 



  1. Guy
    Posted August 7, 2012 at 1:00 am | Permalink

    So true. I watch stuff mostly on my iPad. And if it’ on TV it’s usually via the iPad – Apple TV connection ;-)

  2. ashutosh
    Posted August 7, 2012 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    even I am reading this on my mobile.. :D

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