April the Giraffe, who in a few short months became a global media sensation, gave birth to a boy on Saturday — drawing a mammoth audience on YouTube to rank among the most-viewed live events ever on the video service.
On Saturday, April 15, the Animal Adventure Park’s “Giraffe Cam” channel scored its biggest day, with more than 14 million live views.
A peak of more than 1.2 million people watched April give birth live on Saturday, April 15, at 9:55 a.m. ET on Saturday. That makes it one of the top five most-watched moments for a live event ever on YouTube. However, it was nowhere close to the most-viewed live-streaming event in YouTube’s history: That’s the Red Bull Stratos space jump by skydiver Felix Baumgartner in October 2012, which more than 8 million people watched live concurrently on YouTube.
Animal Adventure, an educational animal park in Harpursville, N.Y., launched the live-streaming channel for April the Giraffe on Feb. 10, 2017. According to Google, it has rapidly become the second-most live-viewed channel in the history of YouTube, behind only Riot Games’ “League of Legends” eSports channel, which launched in 2012.
To date, April’s live YouTube channel has received more than 232 million live views and racked up 7.6 billion minutes of live watch-time total. The average time watched has been about 30 minutes across an average of 3.5 million views per day.
YouTube released a chart showing the spike in traffic for April’s live birth on Saturday:
In addition, Animal Adventure Park became the fifth-fastest channel to 200 million views, hitting the mark in just 54 days (behind the likes of Lady Gaga and Zayn). It’s one of only seven channels to eclipse 100 million live views so far and the fastest to do so of any channel, YouTube said.
The pregnant giraffe has become a pop-culture phenom, and videos that fans have posted to YouTube have been watched over 48.7 million times so far, according to the video platform provider. Those have included a parody of the live-stream by a pregnant woman, a day-by-day analysis of pregnancy signs, baby showers for April, and people anxiously awaiting the big event.