The world has gone digital. With the advent of the Internet, MP3 and MP4 technology, we can all watch movies, download music and even play games on our phones, computers and mobile devices. However, these abilities have also created new platform for world records, including some that hadn’t even been thought of before and some that challenge the records set by older technology. While there are some who see a record and want to try and break it just because they can, other records are part of ingenious and spectacular publicity stunt ideas.
The Sound of Music
Digital downloads have changed the way we look at music and the way that it sells. No longer confined to having to by entire albums, as was the case with vinyl and CDs, consumers are now free to buy the songs they want without any additional, unwanted material. Not only has this had an effect on album sales, but it’s also given rise to a new form of charts system; the digital download charts. These charts give an accurate and up-to-the-minute account of which songs are selling the most and, when compared with previous charts, can help establish a few world records at the same time.
For individual tracks, Rihanna holds the crown for the most downloaded digital artist in the world, having sold an incredible 100 million songs in her eight-year career, making her one of the best selling artists of all time. The way in which the Internet is able to record data in real time has also given Lady Gaga a record of her own for the fastest selling digital album – Born This Way sold 1.1 million copies in its first week of release.
Digital Viewing Figures
However, the Internet is capable of delivering data on much more than just sales figures. Pop legend Madonna chalked up her own world record for the Biggest TV Audience. Her appearance at the half-time show at the Superbowl in February of 2012 was watched by over 114 million people. In addition, the Internet has given rise to other new records, such as the Most Simultaneous Hits in the UK Singles Chart by a Solo Female. This lengthy title was achieved posthumously by Whitney Houston in the week following her death, when she notched up 12 new hits in the UK.
The Xbox 100metre Challenge
With all the opportunities offered by the digital age, it wasn’t going to be long before someone combined the idea of combining a world record with their own publicity stunt ideas. When Xbox decided they wanted to drive more traffic to their Xbox Live Weekend site, they decided to give the idea as much coverage as possible – enough to create a world record!
They put the word out to Kinect Sports users, inviting them to take part in an attempt to establish a record for the greatest number of people taking part in a 100metre sprint online. Recruiting the services of notable sports figures such as Louis Smith and Amy Williams, the idea attracted more than 10,000 participants – each of whom is now a world record holder. However, the event also helped Xbox connect (no pun intended!) with a much wider potential audience than they’d anticipated, with the 100metre Challenge being seen by over 22 million online viewers.
Another online original is for the ‘Largest Networked Chess Computer’. ChessBrain was created in 2001 but by 2004 it had never been pitted against a human being. The idea was to create a world record by networking ChessBrain’s control to the processors of more than 2,000 computers, making it the most powerful chess-playing computer in history. To put it through its paces, it was matched against Danish Grandmaster Peter Heine Nielsen, in a bid to discover who would win. The game lasted for four hours and took just 34 moves, before it was realised that neither party could make a winning move. The result? A draw and a yet-to-be-broken world record!
JonJon Yeung loves to write about current trends in social media as well as marketing. Follow him for more interesting tips to success.