Besides the jump itself, did YouTube just set a world record for the live streaming of the Red Bull Stratos free jump? Very likely if the stats on the YouTube page are accurate. Important is the metric concurrent viewers, rather than views. Concurrent streams truly test the backend infrastructure, and are normally a lot less than views.

As an example, the NASA moon landing numbers were a lot smaller.

According to Tony Riggins, spokesman for Ustream, more than 3,200,000 folks watched the rover’s descent via their streaming platform. Across the various streams, the landing had 500,000 concurrent viewers during its peak. [via Geek System]

YouTube also made numbers public that the Olympics events streamed by YouTube had more than half a million concurrent viewers, which would mean the Stratos jump tested their backend with 16x more traffic.

Obviously there are certain components that drive so much traffic, such as daytime event, weekend, online only stream, world-wide, not authenticated, and highly promoted around the world.

If you meanwhile look at the live stats at Akamai, one of the largest CDNs, their worldwide traffic with 850k concurrent live streams was only slightly higher than average, meaning the majority of traffic truly went through YouTube’s infrastructure (or other CDNs).


Let’s see what the official press release will unveil, but one fact is for sure – even for traditional broadcast, 8 million concurrent viewers would be an amazing rating.

Update: Official post on the YouTube blog.