Are Voters Turning To YouTube For Political News?
Credit: Composite / BG
March 25, 2016

When it comes to political coverage, YouTube is winning the ratings wars? Wired:

According to a new YouTube report released today, since April 2015, when most candidates began announcing their campaigns, a whopping 110 million hours of candidate- and issue-related content has been watched on YouTube.

Not only is that a 485 percent leap from last April, but it’s roughly 100 times the amount of content that’s ever aired on CNN, C-SPAN, MSNBC, and Fox News combined.

Granted, what people are often watching on YouTube (and this site) are clips and rebroadcasts of the network offerings. There's a reason why cable news and other outlets use YouTube to rebroadcast their shows: eyeballs.

But this access to on-demand information is a new and overall, positive phenomenon. It turns out voters who really care about issues are researching the candidate's views on those issues via online video.

[V]oters are taking to YouTube to research candidate positions. The biggest topics people are searching for on YouTube related to the election are refugees and immigration. Searches for refugees on YouTube are up 224% since April 2015.... Searches for immigration are next, up 51% since April 2015, followed by gun control, up 27%.

Of course, the candidates and PACS have caught on. "Since October 2015, political ad spending on YouTube has grown 294 percent."

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