Super Bowl XLV just ended, the Green Bay Packers winning a thrilling battle with the Pittsburgh Steelers, 31-25. Its estimated that 110 million TV viewers may have tuned into the game, breaking last year’s 2010 Super Bowl record of 106 million, which eclipsed the previous record from the 1983 finale of Mash.
Now, 110 million viewers is a big number–incredible scale, right? Television, around for a long time, has to be more than the top web properties. Ok, maybe not Facebook, most have heard that Facebook has 500 million viewers, but has to be more than most everything else on the web, correct? Former Mozilla CEO John Lilly gave a speech recently, where he talked about the incredible scale of the web (his Slideshare presentation is below). Here’s a table summarizing usage numbers of a few Internet properties compared to traditional media viewer numbers (slide 8 in Lilly’s presentation), particularly the Super Bowl. Check out the unbelievable scale of Zynga’s Cityville—100 million users in 60 days.
|Users/Viewers||Years in Existence|
|Super Bowl||110 million||45 years|
|NPR News||30 million||40 years|
|600 million||7 years|
|Mozilla||400 million||7 years|
|200 million||5 years|
|90 million||7 years|
|Cityville||100 million||60 days|
The lesson- the web is scaling at an incredible pace. Companies like Zynga and Groupon as Lilly explains have to know how and support incredible scaling within years of even forming. In the history of media and content, this hasn’t happened before and its going to be the norm for runaway hits. It’s the new web frontier.