Japan Earthquake, Tsunami Coverage Boosts CNN.com

By David Cohen Comment

Coverage of the devastating earthquake and resulting tsunami that struck Japan March 11 helped CNN.com to set several traffic marks.

Saturday, March 12, the day after the quake struck, the website totaled 67 million global page views, according to Omniture SiteCatalyst, marking the highest weekend day in CNN.com history. The site also served 60 million global video starts on the day of the earthquake, an all-time high, topping the day President Barack Obama was inaugurated, the previous record-holder.

CNN.com averaged 75 million page views per day from March 11-20, up 66 percent compared with the same period in 2010, and 60 million page views per day for the entire month of March, up 25 percent compared with February and 34 percent versus March 2010.

News blog This Just In averaged 1.1 million page views per day through March 27, up 27 percent versus February and 213 percent compared with the year-ago period.

Citizen journalism portal iReport collected 1,291 submissions during the first 10 days of Japan coverage, using 270 on CNN or CNN.com. Also for the first 10 days after the tragedy, CNN.com’s global video usage reached 15 million starts per day, dwarfing February and the previous March by 412 percent and 452 percent, respectively.

CNN also said interactions with its Facebook posts during the first 10 days of its Japan coverage were 94 percent higher than the corresponding period for its coverage of the political revolt in Egypt. As for Twitter, 314 tweets from @CNN and @CNNBrk were retweeted more than 148,000 times, 198 percent higher than the retweet total for its Egyptian crisis coverage.

Finally, on the mobile front, CNN Mobile posted seven of its 10 highest-traffic days during March, including its record of 13.9 million page views on Friday, March 11, when the earthquake occurred.