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Memorial Sends Online Traffic Soaring

Tuesday trails only Obama’s inauguration day in terms of worldwide traffic.

Coverage of Michael Jackson’s death scored close-to-record online numbers as the pop icon’s memorial at Staples Center made yesterday the second largest day ever in terms of traffic.

Though Barack Obama’s inauguration still holds the record, Jackson’s memorial brought a 19 percent increase in worldwide traffic, according to Akamai Technologies Inc. Akamai, a Massachusetts based-firm, handles about one-fifth of web traffic.

Jackson’s death on June 25 left many sites scrambling, ill-equipped for such a dramatic surge in readers, but yesterday most sites fared better.

CNN reported that its website drew 9.7 million live video streams between noon and 5 pm L.A. time, while on Twitter, the 10 most popular topics during the afternoon were all tied to Jackson’s memorial.

Other U.S. sites from CBSNews.com to Hulu.com streamed live coverage of the service with Hulu reporting its second-highest live video day after the Obama inauguration.

Even the BBC streamed the service live, though only in the U.K., sending it to 410,000 different computers.

“Consumer interest in online news regarding all aspects of Jackson’s life, death investigation, and planned funeral proceedings has remained high since his death," Akamai said in a press release.