For two occasions that hold absolutely nothing in common on the surface, the Royal Wedding and the takedown of Osama Bin Laden share one striking feature: they were massive live news events that were extensively followed online, eclipsing previous known records.
Nielsen's TV ratings of both historic events, while impressive, leave much of the story untold, according to General Sentiment, a media analysis firm that tracks online buzz and social media responses to events.
The company has compiled data showing that show that both news stories were more followed than every major TV event of the past year, including the Super Bowl, the Oscars and the premier of American Idol.
The Al-Qaeda leader's death attracted more attention online overall, though the Royal Wedding scored a greater number of Twitter mentions.
The data, which look at online references in news media and social media, as well as on Twitter, show over two million online references to Bin Laden on the day of his death and the day after. The Royal Wedding garnered just under 1.9 million mentions, but was the subject of some 240,000 more tweets.
General Sentiment also analyzes the quality and actual language of online mentions in order to gauge the emotional response. The two words that most commonly appeared with Bin Laden were "Violence" (31,871 mentions) and "Relief" (a whopping 146,440 mentions).
"This data shows that the Royal Wedding was far more captivating than Nielsen data would imply and confirms that that the public (myself included) is collectively breathing a huge sigh of relief in reaction to the news about Bin Laden," said General Sentiment's CEO, Gregory Artzt.
|Bin Laden's Death||2,055,877||1,146,028|
|Note: volume counted from one day prior to one day after event|
|Source: General Sentiment|