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When the Royals Wed, Yahoo! Broke Records!

Posted: 12th of October, 2011
With robust coverage including original articles and blogs, photo galleries, videos, and a digital guestbook enabling well-wishers worldwide to offer their advice to the couple, Yahoo became the place the world turned to for programming surrounding the Royal Wedding.

Audience figures show that Yahoo!’s overall traffic surpassed expectations and broke records, driving more traffic and video streams to its coverage of the wedding than any previous event. Preliminary internal data shows that Yahoo sites serving Royal Wedding content drove 400 million page views on Friday. Additionally Yahoo delivered Royal Wedding content at a record-breaking 50,000 requests per second on Friday, seven times the average daily peak of approximately 7,500, and video traffic was 21 percent higher than the previous record. Interest in the Royal Wedding was so high that Yahoo broke bandwidth records before Kate Middleton even stepped out of the car at Westminster Abbey.

According to Yahoo!’s internal data, Yahoo!’s Royal Wedding site (, hosted on Yahoo Shine, the leading site for women’s lifestyle content , generated 65 million unique pageviews on April 29 and April 30, with 6.6 million unique visitors the day of the wedding and 8.6 millions unique visitors the day after. Engagement with the site was high, with users spending a total of 112 million minutes over those two days combined.

Yahoo!’s homepage recorded 32 million clicks to Royal Wedding coverage on April 29, a new one-day record for a single news event, and 52 million clicks from April 29 through May 1, a three-day record for a single news event.

Yahoo! Shine as a whole set traffic records on Thursday, April 28, then broke them again on Friday and Saturday, generating 80 million combined pageviews over the two days, with 8.7 million unique visitors on Friday and 9.4 million unique visitors on Saturday. Users spent a total of 141.7 million minutes on Shine over the two days.

Yahoo!’s total Royal Wedding video audience figures eclipsed the previous record – Michael Jackson’s funeral – by 21 percent especially impressive given that this event happened during non-peak hours.

Most clicked stories:

Yahoo!’s original content on the Royal Wedding performed incredibly well, providing users instant access to everything they wanted to know with Yahoo!’s unique voice and interesting analysis. A team of industry-leading writers and editors wrote and featured fascinating stories that really clicked with users on Yahoo!’s homepage. Pippa Middleton, Kate’s younger sister and maid of honor, quickly became the breakout star of the wedding, and led coverage with the top two most-clicked stories. Yahoo!’s top five Royal Wedding stories included:

    All eyes turn to Kate’s sister (6.7 million clicks)
    Kate’s sister wears surprising white dress (6.1 million clicks)
    Who is the frowning girl in the royal kiss photo? (5.3 million clicks)
    Kate debuts stunning evening dress (5.1 million clicks)
    Kate Middleton’s dress wows spectators (4.6 million clicks)

The Royal Wedding Yahoo Guestbook:
The Royal Wedding Yahoo Guestbook provided users the opportunity to offer their marital advice and best wishes to Prince William and Kate Middleton, then share those wishes with users’ social networks. The guestbook received more than 300,000 comments from users in 194 countries. The most common advice, across all the regions, centered on three themes: be good to each other, communicate openly and never go to bed angry.

Yahoo! searches during the Royal Wedding:

Audiences have been visiting Yahoo for daily updates since Prince William and Kate Middleton’s engagement was announced, seeking the most interesting stories or answers to a wide range of questions about all aspects of the Royal Wedding.

On the day of the wedding, amidst all the pomp and circumstance, people turned to Yahoo for answers to their many questions — including figuring out what “pomp and circumstance” was. Some of the questions people asked on Yahoo included:

    What does Pippa mean?
    What does Prince William do?
    What is a fascinator?
    What religion is Prince William?
    Did Kate Middleton meet Princess Diana?
    What is a duchess? What is a royal duke?
    Was Diana a commoner?
    Who was invited to the wedding? Who wasn’t invited to the wedding?

The day-of searches on Yahoo centered mostly around Kate: her shoes, dress, tiara, and the lace on her dress. Interest in Prince Harry and Pippa Middleton also surged on the wedding day. All week leading up to the ceremony, Prince Harry searches on Yahoo surpassed those of groom Prince William. Aside from the royal wedding party, Yahoo saw Americans’ interest focus on Sarah Burton, designer of the now-famous wedding gown, the hats worn to the wedding (searches for “royal wedding hats” spiked 4291percent on the day of the wedding), and the ladies sporting the fanciest hats: Princess Beatrice spiked 2333 percent on the day of the wedding and Princess Eugenie spiked 1474 percent.  Hat designer Phillip Treacy spiked as well.

In the days following the wedding, the attention turned from Kate and according to searches on Yahoo!, Pippa Middleton became the star of the show.  Searches on Yahoo for Pippa were 11 percent higher than for Kate (looking at searches for April 29 and 30th). Searches for “Pippa Middleton” were also significantly higher than “Prince William” and “Prince Harry.” Specifically, people wanted to know about her age, weight and height, and see her dress. Another lady casting a shadow on Princess Kate was Princess Grace — searches for “Princess Grace Wedding Dress” spiked 5680 percent the day of the wedding on Yahoo!, as commentators drew comparisons to Kate’s dress.

As expected, users wanted to see photos. On Yahoo!, searches for “royal wedding pictures” and “royal wedding photos” spiked more than 5263 percent.

Flickr from Yahoo!:

Through The British Monarchy’s official photostream on Flickr from Yahoo!, one of the world’s best places to post and share photos, the royal family has given people across the globe an inside look into the Royal Wedding over the past few months, from wedding invitations, wedding cake designs and the official wedding pictures taken by the happy couple’s photographer. In total, there have been more than 45 million views of the British Monarchy photostream and pictures on Flickr.  The top five photos viewed on The British Monarchy’s official photostream include:

    The official Royal Wedding photographs (The Bride and Groom with attendants) – 1.08 million views
    The official Royal Wedding photographs (The Royal Wedding Group) – 1.07 million views
    The official Royal Wedding photographs (The Bride and Groom) – 810,000 views
    The Royal Wedding Cake – 447,000 views
    The Service (Prince William and Catherine Middleton leaving Westminster Abbey following the ceremony) – 440,000 views