×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Trump Inauguration Is Twitter’s Most-Viewed Live Stream to Date

The Jan. 20 inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th U.S. president drew the biggest Twitter live-streaming audience to date, surpassing the social service’s turnout for Election Night last November.

Twitter’s live stream of “PBS NewsHour” coverage of the 2017 presidential inauguration day reached 6.824 million unique viewers. That edged out the 6.8 million uniques who tuned in to BuzzFeed’s Nov. 8 Election Night live stream on Twitter. The broadcast peaked at 377,000 concurrent viewers at approximately 12:15 p.m. ET as Trump took the oath of office.

It’s important to understand, however, that the way online viewership is typically reported doesn’t correspond to TV audience.

The number of Twitter’s unique viewers represents everyone who watched even a few seconds of the PBS live feed, whereas TV ratings reflect an average per-minute audience over a program’s duration. (Twitter did not disclose average-minute audience of the PBS inauguration stream — a metric it has provided selectively in the past — nor did it provide total live-streamed minutes watched.) White House press secretary Sean Spicer, in a briefing Monday, incorrectly equated Nielsen TV numbers with CNN’s reported number of digital views in claiming Trump’s inauguration was the most-viewed ever.

Other internet outlets streamed Trump’s inauguration, including YouTube (which carried feeds from partners including NBC News, CBS News, Telemundo, and C-SPAN), Facebook (whose partners included ABC News, BuzzFeed News, the New York Times and Univision), CNN Digital, and Fox News Channel.

Twitter has embarked on a concerted effort within the last year to pump live video onto the platform — spanning news, sports and entertainment — in a bid to boost user engagement. That included 10 NFL Thursday night games last fall, and on Monday Twitter announced a new deal with Dick Clark Productions to stream red-carpet coverage from upcoming awards shows.

The social site exclusively live-streamed “PBS NewsHour” coverage of the inauguration and related events from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET on Jan. 20. The program was anchored by “NewsHour” managing editor Judy Woodruff, with live reports from correspondents in D.C. and guests joining Woodruff in the studio.

On Twitter, Trump’s inauguration was a top-trending global event with 12 million tweets posted Jan. 20 related to the inauguration, peaking at 58,000 tweets sent per minute at 12:02 p.m. ET.

Election Day 2016 was the most-tweeted day of the entire presidential campaign, with more than 75 million global election-related tweets sent from before polls opened to just after President-elect Trump’s 3 a.m. ET victory speech on Nov. 9, 2016.

During the 2016 election season, Twitter partnered with a variety of news orgs to live-stream major live events, including both GOP and Democratic conventions and all four presidential debates.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Bristol, CT - March 13, 2017

    Mina Kimes Helps ESPN Kick Off 'Daily' Podcast

    Mina Kimes is preparing to take ESPN into a new frontier. The sports-media giant has launched a “SportsCenter” for Snapchat and tested baseball telecasts for kids. Now it’s hoping to set up shop in another media venue. Starting tomorrow, the Disney-backed company launches “ESPN Daily,” a weekday morning podcast that aims to tap its vast [...]

  • Neilsons Measurment Problems TV Digital

    AT&T's Ad-Tech Unit Xandr Buys Clypd To Help Place TV Commercials More Precisely

    Xandr, the AT&T ad-technology unit, has purchased a new company that helps advertisers use data to place commercials in front of the audiences most likely to want to watch them The AT&T division said Friday it had acquired clypd, a company that helps advertisers move forward in a growing desire by Madison Avenue to run [...]

  • AT&T Logo Building

    AT&T TV Now Price Hike Coming Next Month, Base Package to Cost $65

    AT&T is instituting a substantial price hike for its live TV streaming service AT&T TV Now: Customers who have subscribed to the service’s basic “Plus” package will see their bill go up by $15, to a total of $65 per month, starting next month. The telco has started to inform existing subscribers about the price [...]

  • Disney-Family-Movies

    Disney Family Movies SVOD Service Is Shutting Down Ahead of Disney Plus Debut

    After 11 years, Disney is pulling the plug on Disney Family Movies On Demand — with the service’s shutdown coming just days before the launch of the Mouse House’s Disney Plus. Disney Family Movies, which cost between $5-$10 per month, has been available via pay-TV providers in the U.S., including Comcast Xfinity, Charter Communications, Verizon [...]

  • Amazon Orders ‘All or Nothing: Tottenham

    Amazon Orders ‘All or Nothing: Tottenham Hotspur’ Soccer Doc Series

    Amazon has greenlit a new “All or Nothing” sports documentary series, this time following London-based soccer team Tottenham Hotspur. “All or Nothing: Tottenham Hotspur” will follow a year in the life of the team, charting the ongoing 2019-20 season. The squad made it to the final of the European Champions League last year, losing to [...]

  • Jeffrey Katzenberg

    Jeffrey Katzenberg's Quibi Picks T-Mobile as Wireless Launch Partner

    Quibi, the short-form mobile TV service founded by Jeffrey Katzenberg, announced a pact with T-Mobile to be the official telecommunications partner for its April 2020 launch. T-Mobile will be the exclusive wireless distributor when Quibi launches next spring. However, the arrangement doesn’t mean only T-Mobile customers will be able to subscribe to Quibi: Anyone will [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content