Posted August 25, 2008 1:29 pm by with 15 comments

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The Olympics is over and US advertisers should be pleased with the results. Not only did we take home a lot of gold from athletes, this Olympics brought record web site traffic – and an experiment in online video advertising. The two weeks long Olympics was a test in how video advertising would play out.

According to eMarketer – NBC – the lead sponsor of the games, gets a bronze for their work. They brought in $5.75 million for running video ads. The Wall Street Journal reported NBC made only a quarter of what CBS Sports made streaming a college basketball tournament earlier this year.

The number would probably be higher but NBC made some mistakes. First, they required people to download software to watch video clips. NBC used Microsoft’s Silverlight instead of Flash to stream video. Since most of us don’t have Silverlight, we had to download it – but I’m sure some skipped it altogether. Second, NBC didn’t preimere footage on their site. So while NBC doubled traffic to their site, Yahoo did even better, according to Nielsen. Yahoo showed some events online before they aired on television. Exclusivity tends to work better on television than on the web.

As far as the official site of the Olympics – – Neilsen says the US averaged 554,800 unique visitors a day the first week (from 9 August – 15 August 2008). The site is in Chinese, which seems like quite a barrier, until you click on the English version. When you go to video you’re back to NBC.

Overall, I’m going to miss watching the Olympics, yet like many other Americans, I stayed up late watching them and I’m looking forward to getting more sleep. However, if I could’ve watched more online, sleep deprivation wouldn’t be such an issue.

Surprisingly, I didn’t watch any of the Olympics online – with high definition television and the family around – I’d rather watch it in the living room than on my laptop. But since I did miss the closing ceremonies, I’m downloading Silverlight right now.

  • Fifty Studio

    NBCs biggest mistake was using Silverlight…

    Fifty Studio’s last blog post..Twitter Spam Block List

  • Mike

    I ignored the whole downloading Silverlight thing. I don’t want to download something just to watch a few Olympics events on my computer. I just didn’t seem worth the effort.

    My little Asus EeePC is the only computer I would have considered watching the videos on and I don’t think Silverlight officially runs on Linux.

    Mike’s last blog post..Who Does Your Theme Site Link To

  • Jaan Kanellis

    Obvious to everyone above requiring Microsoft’s Silverlight was the biggest mistake. I would be willing to guess they could have doubled or triple the revenue if it wasnt for that.

    Jaan Kanellis’s last blog post..Search Marketing Standard Acquired by iNET Interactive

  • Ashley

    I think it is a huge mistake

  • Haroon Hameed

    Yes if they would have added any alternative from silverlight then they would have 10 times more Viewers for their Live Streaming.

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  • Andy Beal

    The big winner? Microsoft who I’m sure loved getting Silverlight in front of a bunch of Flash users. 😉

  • Mike

    Will Microsoft really be the winner when the other sites realize that NBC would have had more users and more revenue if they hadn’t used Silverlight?

    Mike’s last blog post..Who Does Your Theme Site Link To

  • Ruriko

    Is NBC an American channel?

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    Its mistake

  • PER

    Big big mistake

  • PER

    I did not download that either. No way…just to watch the game?

  • Nicole Price

    I chose not to watch at all due to the silly requirement of installing silverlight.

    Nicole Price’s last blog post..Comics by Email

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  • Nick Nolen

    Not sure if Silverlight ruined it but if you take a look at these stats it seems those sites that used Flash did better no matter what type of Olympic videos they had…

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