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Obama Inauguration Drives Media

Media companies of all flavors cite intense demand

Domestic radio and TV coverage of the inauguration of President Barack H. Obama was intense, and the events were seen and heard by millions in a variety of other ways.

Voice of America said its coverage was seen or heard across the planet by an estimated 134 million people through VOA’s TV, radio and Internet outlets.

“President Obama’s inauguration generated huge audiences for VOA,” said Director Danforth Austin.

Some 200 VOA journalists covered the inaugural. It was translated into 45 languages. Radio highlights included feeding Radio France International for live transmission into Mali, Senegal and the Democratic Republic of Congo; live transmission for Radio National Haiti and a special for Radio/TV Ashna in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, TrafficLand, the traffic video aggregator, saw its Web site receive a record number of visitors. Not only were Washington metropolitan area residents visiting in an effort to navigate around the unprecedented number of street closings but many, locally, nationally and internationally, apparently took advantage of TrafficLand’s network of cameras to watch the proceedings. Particularly popular was a camera atop the Willard Hotel, with its view down Pennsylvania Avenue of the Capitol.

The Associated Press said it saw unmatched demand for its Web site content. It estimated that it provided around 8 million live video streams during Inauguration Day. At the peak, during President Obama’s address, as many as 374,000 concurrent streams were being provided.

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