Mobile Web, apps won the Olympics

paidContent | The New York Times | The Times of London
Sixty percent of traffic to the official website and apps came from mobile devices, according to Alex Balfour, the head of new media for the London Organizing Committee. That's partly due to the fact that the committee had several apps, reports paidContent's Robert Andrews.

Balfour's statistics provide an interesting window into the shift to mobile. On Sunday, Aug. 5, desktop computer traffic peaked twice, around 3 p.m. and again at 9 p.m. Mobile traffic, however, was always higher than desktop, continuing to climb as desktop traffic dropped after 3 p.m. and shooting up around 7 p.m. In the evening, mobile traffic was often twice that of desktop. (See slide 21 below.)

A sample of weekday traffic showed the same peaks for desktop Web traffic at 3 p.m. and 9 p.m., but mobile Web and apps (phone and tablet) again started to rise at 7 p.m. Phone app traffic spiked at 11 p.m. while tablet, mobile Web and desktop traffic dropped. (See slide 22.)

Mobile apps had 2.8 times more page views per visit compared to the Web; tablet apps had 3.5 more. (See slide 44.)

And let this be the last statistic on viewership of NBC's TV broadcast of the Games: Across all of NBCUniversal's networks, "its coverage of the London Olympics was the most watched entertainment or sporting event ever on American television," reports The New York Times' Bill Carter. NBC wonders if it should have tape delayed more events.

Two-thirds of the U.S. population saw at least some of the Olympics (probably not The Who's closing ceremony performance!) on some channel.

MediaShift's Tristan Stewart-Robertson notes that the upcoming Paralympics will get all-day and prime-time coverage in the U.K., but just 5.5 hours on NBC. The British Paralympic Association provides a style guide for covering the games.

Lest we not forget print, The Times of London published one amazing photo a day as a wraparound cover. Editors had planned on the first photo being an image of the Olympic Stadium at dawn, so photographers were sent there every day the week before the Olympics. After an editor questioned whether it was an iconic structure, however, they went with an image of Tower Bridge.

You can see the covers at 20 seconds in to the video below and again at 4:20.

Related: 5 social media takeaways from the Olympics (The Wall Street Journal) | "A major news story always produces data journalism," says Simon Rogers (Guardian) | Gabby Douglas' Facebook fans grew by 41 times (NPR) | Usain Bolt the most-discussed Olympian on Twitter (Twitter Blog) stats:

The Times of London's covers:

  • Steve Myers

    Steve Myers was the managing editor of until August 2012, when he became the deputy managing editor and senior staff writer for The Lens, a nonprofit investigative news site in New Orleans.


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