Posted on August 22, 2016 by James Duquenoy
The Rio 2016 Olympic Games was a wonderful two weeks of sport, inspiring people around the world to get involved. It was full of drama and success for the athletes but was also a ground-breaking Olympics for the digital world. We’ve put together some of the most interesting digital marketing statistics from Rio 2016.
Snapchat’s Rio 2016 coverage attracted almost 50m viewers in the first week alone
Within the first seven days of Rio 2016, almost 50 million people had viewed Olympic clips in the Live Stories section of the Snapchat app. Snapchat’s Live Stories have been showcasing compilation videos of the sport and crowd reactions, and global TV networks have partnered with Snapchat to produce Olympic content for the Discover section of the app. These incredible figures mean 1 in 3 of Snapchat’s 150 million daily users were engaging with the Olympics.
It costs $200 million to be an Olympic Global Partner
Some big companies have sponsored the Rio 2016 Olympics, and recent figures suggest they could have paid approximately $200 million to be an Olympic Global Partner for a four-year period. The International Olympic Committee’s Rule 40 is used to give official exclusive rights to the intellectual property that allows companies to associate themselves with the Olympics – deemed necessary due to the high cost of sponsorship.
In the UK, we’re lucky to have ad-free coverage of the Olympics thanks to the BBC, but viewers in the USA weren’t so lucky. Many people in the USA complained about the higher number of ads interrupting the opening ceremony – but it actually had almost 20% less ad time than the London 2012 games. Out of 81,000 consumer conversations in the USA that were monitored by a research firm, 11% were complaints about the frequency of advertising.
The first Olympic Games to be broadcast in virtual reality
For the first time ever, the Olympic Games was filmed and broadcast live in 360-degree virtual reality. Compatible with almost all VR headsets, you could enjoy an immersive view of the action from the comfort of your armchair. You could watch the opening ceremony as if you were sat in the stadium, get a closer-than-ringside view of the boxing and much, much more. Although there are no live feeds anymore (because the Olympics have finished), the 360-degree highlights videos are still available to enjoy on the BBC Taster site or YouTube.
Record TV and digital audiences
The Rio 2016 Olympics broke several viewership records, with half the world’s population tuning in to watch some coverage of the games. It was a huge success in Brazil too – with 90% of the host nation’s TV audience watching some of the action. In the UK, the BBC achieved a record television audience for an overseas Olympics, with over 45 million people tuning in. BBC Sport’s online coverage also set new records, reaching over 68 million devices (computers, smartphones, tablets etc.) in the UK and over 100 million globally. These statistics show that more people than ever are enjoying the Olympics online – it’s been estimated that there will be a whopping 2.85 billion video streams of the Rio 2016 Olympics (the final figures haven’t been released yet).
Fewer Opening Ceremony viewers
While overall viewership of the games increased, the number of people watching the opening ceremony in the UK was much lower than in 2012. Over 22 million people watched the London 2012 Opening Ceremony in the UK, but only 4 million watched the Rio 2016 ceremony – less than one-fifth of the 2012 viewers. Of course, viewership would be higher in the UK for London 2012 as we were the host nation, but the four-hour time difference for Rio 2016 probably played a large part in the lower viewing figures.
The USA TV network NBC paid $1.2 billion for the rights to broadcast the Olympics, but its decision to show the coverage on a 10-minute delay caused controversy. Just 30 million viewers in the USA watched the Rio Opening Ceremony on NBC, with huge numbers of people switching to other channels that were broadcasting in real time.
Google’s Olympic Data
Google has done a lot for this year’s Olympics by including rich data in search results – such as events, athletes, medal tables and more. Now the Olympics are over, there’s a huge range of Google Trends data to browse, and they have released several interesting interactive visualisations. There’s an alternative medal table that shows which country would win Gold if population or even Google searches were taken into account. Google have also made interactive graphs and maps to show the most popular sports in each country, based on search data, and you can even enjoy an interactive map of the Olympic Torch route.
Lightning strikes again for Usain Bolt
Usain Bolt’s incredible “triple-triple” victory at Rio 2016 has made him the most searched track athlete of all time – and two times more people searched for his speed (27.7mph) than searched for the speed of light! This iconic photo of Bolt smiling during the 100m semi-final quickly went viral and has already become a popular meme.
— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) August 15, 2016