Obama’s inauguration didn’t beat Reagan’s as far as TV audiences are concerned; but (for obvious reasons) it was a web event par excellence.
“Nearly 37.8 million Americans watched the inauguration of President Barack Obama [on television], making Obama’s inauguration the second most-viewed Presidential inauguration since Ronald Reagan’s record 41.8 million viewers in 1981,” reports Media Week.
Who won the web traffic race? CNN, according to the WSJ. “CNN Digital News Network was the most-visited news Web site on Inauguration Day, according to Nielsen Online, with more than 11 million unique viewers. That’s a 41% increase in traffic compared with Jan. 13, the Tuesday a week earlier. Competitor MSNBC, which launched new features on its online-video player, came in second with 10 million unique visitors. Rounding out the top three was Yahoo News, ranked with 9.1 million.” But – interestingly – conventional newspaper sites also did well. “Traditional newspaper sites cracked the top 10, with the New York Times site garnering 2.4 million unique visitors. The Tribune newspapers and the Washington Post also ranked within the top 10, getting 2.3 million and 1.7 million unique visitors respectively.”