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How Technology is Changing Olympic Game Viewership

How Technology is Changing Olympic Game Viewership

Our main monkey and CEO, Dave Goldberg appeared on Bloomberg West with Emily Chang yesterday to talk about how technology was affecting how people were watching the 2012 London Olympics.  We ran a survey via SurveyMonkey Audience to find out!  You can watch the segment here and below is a summary of the findings:

People are Planning to Watch

  • 75% of respondents are planning to watch the games.

Television Still Rules, but Computers are Growing in Popularity

  • 83% named TV as their primary viewing device.
  • However, 12% did name their computer/laptop as their primary viewing device.  This is up from 2% during the 2008 Beijing Olympics where 95% of respondents reported that TV was their primary viewing device.
  • 59% named their secondary viewing source as the computer.
  • The third most popular device?  Not tablets!  Mobile phones at 21%.

This follows the pattern many in the entertainment and tech industry are seeing – that viewership on alternate devices such as a computer, mobile phone, or tablet is becoming more common for many Americans.

Online, People are Turning to Traditional Websites for News/Coverage

  • 76% of respondents report websites like, and Yahoo! are where they will go online for their Olympic fix.
  • Facebook was the second most popular destination at 28%.

Spoiler Alert!  Twitter Updates Don’t Detract From the Games

While there has been some controversy around Twitter updates spoiling the games for some fans 67% of respondents said it improved their experience, and 10% saying it neither improves nor detracts from their Olympic experience. Also, most viewers (95%) do want the Olympics to be viewed in real-time, to avoid any chance that they might spoil the end of a race for themselves.

The Lighting of the Torch and Gymnastics are What We’re Excited to Watch

  • Gymnastics 25%
  • Opening ceremony 24%
  • Swimming 14%
  • Track and Field 13%

Equestrian and Dressage was also popular write-in mentions.

People are Planning to (gasp) Talk to Each other In-Person

  • 71% of respondents will discuss the Olympics most often in-person.
  • Email (39%) and text messages (37%) were named the second and third most popular options for Olympic discussions.

While the whole country seems glued to the TV screen to catch the games, most are unwilling to pay for any additional coverage. 98% will not pay for an app or additional coverage to see more Olympics glory. Of those downloading free apps, 86% chose the official NBC app as the way to get their news.

What have you thought of the Olympic coverage?  Let us know in the comments below!

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