The biggest and brightest gold medal of the Games belongs to social media. NBC gets… the silver. Bloomberg News reports that primetime viewers dropped 18% from the 2012 Olympic broadcast and the media consumption habits of Millennials are to blame (aren’t we always?).
But while that coveted audience may not have been tuning on their television sets, we were paying close attention and engaging in more Games chatter than ever. Here are the social media scores:
- On Facebook, 227 million people interacted with 1.5 billion posts.
- On Twitter, 187 million tweeted received 75 billion views.
- 50% of Facebook users age 18-34 engaged with Olympic content on social media.
- NBC got 600 million+ views on their Olympic videos on Facebook.
- 50 million viewers streamed 3.4 billion minutes of Rio coverage on web and mobile.
- The most talked about sports on Facebook: swimming, gymnastics and track and field.
We no longer have to sit through hours of coverage but can watch “the good parts” on demand (over and over) on social. This kind of consumption makes it easier to remember the highlights from both the athletic achievement and pop culture perspectives (from cringe-worthy broken gymnast bones to #PhelpsFace to Usaine Bolt’s speedy smile to the love story everyone was routing for…Zac Efron and Simone Biles).
The shift from traditional television broadcast to live streaming, social media and on-demand content is only going to escalate, so brands and broadcasters need to rise on up with this trend. NBC was *surprised* by this year’s decrease in ratings (really?) after their $1 billion spend on broadcast rights. So lesson learned from these Games? Create the best possible experience on mobile, tablets and smart TVs in addition to their primetime broadcasts.