Video streaming and news online

28 September 2011

The UK is now entering a period of intense discussion of the regulation and ownership of news outlets. In this context it is revealing to look at a case study of news viewing online

Livestation is an online service which aggregates several dozen TV news channels and makes them available online. Two of the most prominent are Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya. These channels experienced explosive growth during the ‘Arab Spring’ events, and this was reflected in the statistics for access to their online streams, which we analyse here

In the course of these events, the live video streams for Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya went from 150,000 and 50,000 monthly uniques to 3.3m and 1.3m. Their audience online switched from a tiny base of largely expatriate viewers outside the Arab world to millions of viewers in the Arab world. Even after the most dramatic events subsided, traffic remains 10 times what it was in late 2010

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