RT’s footage of the Siberian meteor blast became the most watched video of the phenomenon on YouTube.
The blast, which hit Russia’s Chelyabinsk region on the morning of February 15, became the most watched video event of all time with 138 million views, and the fastest video event ever to hit 100 million views, according to VideoMeasures, an online measurement company. More than 400 videos across several online platforms were tracked in this calculation.
RT’s montage of several eyewitness videos attracted a record-breaking 28+ million views in just five days on the news network’s YouTube channel. Overall, RT’s videos of the meteor event have already collected more than 45 million views, bringing its YouTube channel within a striking distance of the 1 billion total views mark.
RT has previously set a YouTube record for the most watched news event video of 2011 with footage of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. Pew Research Center’s 2012 study named RT as the largest provider of news video footage on YouTube, the world’s largest video sharing platform.
The New York Times noted that “thanks to YouTube and sites like it, viewers around the world could see the meteor from dozens of angles,” particularly highlighting “the most-viewed of all the videos, uploaded by the cable channel Russia Today”. Mashable, a technology- and social media-focused news blog, dubbed RT’s “stunning and terrifying” video “the clear winner” among the meteor event footage. Mashable also noted that all the combined meteor videos exhibited “the vastest rate of viral growth ever seen for an online video event” – beating such phenomena as PSY’s “Gangnam Style,” Kony 2012 and Susan Boyle’s “I dreamed a dream.”
RT is a global international news network that broadcasts in English, Arabic and Spanish from its studios in Moscow and Washington, DC, and is available to 630 million viewers worldwide. RT is the only Russian TV channel to garner two nominations for the prestigious Emmy International Award.