By now you’ve doubtless heard about the ongoing rescue of 33 Chilean miners, who have been tragically trapped 2,000 feet underground since August 5. After months of waiting, the miners are being rescued one by one (as of this writing three are still below ground), and media organizations are broadcasting the footage of the recue effort live to a reported 1 billion people. That massive worldwide audience has led to some new records for live-streaming service Ustream, which has been broadcasting feeds from media organizations around the world.
Ustream says that it has served 5.3 million streams over the course of the rescue, tallying figures between 4AM October 11 until 4AM this morning (given the fact that the rescue is still going on, the final count will be significantly higher). In contrast, the two previous record holders — Michael Jackson’s memorial and President Obama’s inauguration — drew 4.6 million and 3.8 million total streams, respectively, which makes this Ustream’s most-watched event ever. To be fair though, the mining rescue operation has spanned a longer period of time than those events, so this isn’t an apples-to-apples comparison.
Other sites are seeing similarly high traffic: CNN reports that it saw 1.2 million live video streams on Tuesday and over 2 million live video streams on Wednesday, though that isn’t a new record for the site — it had a whopping 26.9 million streams during the Obama inauguration.