After watching YouTube streaming partner Akamai’s (AKAM) live stats page during the November 22 YouTube Live event, Mogulus reported Akamai’s live streams jumped from 150,000 before the event to 863,000 during its peak.
But don’t take that to mean the event drew 700,000 viewers. For instance, Google’s (GOOG) YouTube served each visitor four individual streams of the event. We don’t know how Akamai’s live streaming meter calculated those streams, but it’s possible the actual audience could be closer to 175,000.
Truth is, only YouTube or Akamai know the real numbers and “we’re all just guessing,” says Streaming Media’s Dan Rayburn. Rayburn says that since clients regularly inflate confidential numbers by as much as 10X, we won’t really know the size of YouTube Live’s audience even if it does announce them.
But it doesn’t matter. Both numbers — 700,000 or 175,000 — are tiny. Even before Sarah Palin rejuvenated the franchise, Saturday Night Live last year averaged more than 5 million viewers per show, MediaMemo points out.
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