IT Brief Australia - Technology news for CIOs & IT decision-makers
Story image
Taylor Swift's Melbourne gigs trigger massive Telstra data surge
Wed, 21st Feb 2024

Taylor Swift's first concert in her Eras Tour witnessed thousands of die-hard Swifties absorbing every moment with their smartphones, generating network traffic likened to a highway jam. According to Telstra, fans at the concert utilised a staggering 35 terabytes of data over the three nights of the concert at Melbourne's MCG.

The telecom company's analysis of data usage revealed this to be the same as 15,500 hours of video content travelling over their network across the three-night concert spell - an average of slightly more than 5,000 hours per evening. To put that in perspective, to consume all the content that was generated, one would need to stream the Eras Tour Concert Film, on loop, for around 1.7 years!

Compared to other major concerts at the same venue, Taylor Swift fans outdid others by a long way, using almost 200% more data. This colossal volume of data use was mainly for sharing the concert experiences with friends during The Eras Tour at the MCG.

Interestingly, Telstra’s tracking of upload and download data also revealed the most popular moments of The Eras Tour. It appeared most concert-goers were on their phones documenting and sharing just before Taylor Swift took the stage. However, as soon as the lights dimmed, focus shifted from their devices to the stage. Fans continued to capture video content throughout the night, particularly highlighting the surprise songs at the end of the 1989 era. Once the concert ended, data usage peaked again with fans ordering Ubers, checking tram schedules, and planning their route home.

To ensure there were no network hiccups and the flood of Swifties stayed connected, Telstra took necessary measures. For the leg of the tour in Sydney, the company rolled out a Cell-on-Wheels to boost bandwidth and facilitate more users getting online concurrently, somewhat akin to adding an extra lane to a busy road to ease congestion. The Accor Stadium was also enhanced with an upgraded 5G antenna system, expected to notably improve indoor performance.

With these measures in place, Telstra's challenge to Sydney's Taylor Swift fan base is: can they generate even more digital content than their Melbourne counterparts? A question, only the upcoming Sydney concerts will answer.