Friday, April 29, 2011

YouTube's Royal Wedding Broadcast Outclassed Traditional Media


Live events broadcast to a large-scale audience should never be quite the same again after the royal wedding. The April 29 event was broadcast all over the globe on network TV, via traditional news media websites, and at the online video destination YouTube.

Traditional media has always had a monopoly on visual event broadcasts, but the YouTube addition to the mix more than justified why that should never be the case again.

Depth of Coverage

The Royal Channel on YouTube provided stellar coverage of the wedding through the BBC. While other venues forced fans interested in viewing the event to listen to an audio commentary featuring the occasional ancient and/or incompetent commentator, being able to watch the wedding online without the voice-overs was a blessing.

Enthusiasts who can recognize the Queen and other key members of the royal family by sight undoubtedly got through the wedding without a great deal of confusion. If one did have trouble placing a particular face or recognizing the meaning of a song or tradition, Clarence House had a detailed stream of text updates present in the right sidebar of The Royal Channel YouTube frame. This stream added a lot of accurate and interesting details for users while not forcing data on uninterested viewers.

Quality of Coverage

The YouTube video stream operated at a five- to 10-second delay when compared to other media sources. There were also a few moments of poor quality during the YouTube broadcast of the wedding. The picture stuttered from time to time and the page would have to be refreshed to clear up the problem. At one moment the screen went black briefly and screeched before returning to the ceremony, and, at another moment, it went black silently.

Bugs are to be expected during any live broadcast and these were either easily dealt with by the viewer or swiftly contained by the engineers at the BBC and YouTube. Considering the stellar quality and clarity of the video for 99 percent of the broadcast, the glitches were even less impacting. The YouTube video display actually out performed and out-looked the display on news sites that were featuring same feed. The 10-second time delay was also easily ignored.

In short, the Royal Channel and YouTube with their Clarence House commentary outperformed traditional media outlets airing the exact same content. Hopefully this will become a live event trend.

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