May 27, 2010
PBS NewsHour's Gulf Leak Meter Widget and Live Video Viewed More than 1 Million Times
Interactive Feature Drawing Many Unique and Referral visitors
The PBS NEWSHOUR today announced it has experienced a significant increase in web traffic as a result of its extremely popular Gulf Leak Meter widget and live video stream of the Gulf oil spill.
One reason for the heavy traffic is the accessibility of the Newshour's video feed. The feed provided by BP and Congress is in a format that is not compatible with some web browsers. Working in collaboration with NPR, the PBS Newshour staff has been working around the clock to transcode BP's video feed into a format that is compatible with more than 95% of web browsers. The response has been tremendous, as well over one million viewers have flocked to the video via the PBS Newshour and NPR websites, as well as other channels such as YouTube and Google which have embedded the widget and video feed.
In keeping with the spirit and mission of public broadcasting, the PBS Newshour and NPR have provided the embedding code for the widget free of charge to all users and website visitors. To date, the widget has been embedded or linked to by more than 3,000 websites around the world and continues to drive strong traffic to the PBS Newshour website. Websites displaying the widget include: YouTube, Huffington Post, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, The Atlantic, The Guardian, Wired, ProPublic, Sen. Bill Nelson (D - Fla.), as well as many local PBS stations. It was also featured on both the official Google and YouTube blogs.
On YouTube, the widget and video have been viewed more than 820,000 on Wednesday, May 26th alone and subscribers to the PBS Newshour YouTube channel doubled in just 24 hours.
The first oil widget was released May 9, offering readers the opportunity to choose among several scenarios based on BP's and experts' best guesses of the spill's magnitude. The Newshour continues to update the widget to include more perspectives on how much oil might be flowing from the leak and on May 17, factored in BP's report of some success in siphoning oil from the leaking well. PBS Newshour will continue to update the widget until the leak is stopped. A second widget was later launched to include the live video feed.
PBS NEWSHOUR is seen five nights a week on more than 315 PBS stations across the country and is also available online, via public radio in select markets and via podcast. The program is produced by MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, in association with WETA Washington, DC, and THIRTEEN in New York. Major corporate funding for The NewsHour is provided by Chevron, Bank of America and Intel, with additional support from the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and public television viewers.
Contact: Anne Bell 703-998-2175.