GOP Presidential Candidates Gaining Viewers on YouTube

June 13, 2007

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Social Media

Although Democrats are still dominating YouTube viewers’ time spent on campaign-related video, Republicans are starting to gain ground, according to Nielsen/NetRatings.

YouTube videos about Republican presidential candidates accounted for 31 percent of the time spent at the site watching campaign-related videos in April, increasing 21 percentage points over March levels.

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Videos about Democratic candidates accounted for 69% of all time spent on campaign videos in April, decreasing 20 percentage points since March.

“The Democrats have taken an early lead in the online race to the White House, leveraging Web 2.0 forums and technologies to their benefit,” said Jason Lee, media analyst, Nielsen/NetRatings. “Of course…not all coverage is positive. In March, the anti-Hillary Clinton ‘1984’ video drew significant traffic, which accounts in part for the Democratic lead in time spent for the month.”

“By April, John McCain videos accounted for 15% of total time spent on candidate-related YouTube content, but that content included McCain’s ill-received performance of ‘Bomb Bomb Iran’ and footage of the Senator snoozing during the 2007 State of the Union address,” Lee added.

In April, Democratic presidential candidate-related videos on YouTube attracted 377,000 unique visitors, decreasing 76% from 1.5 million unique visitors in March.

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Unique visitors to Republican candidate videos totaled 311,000 in April, increasing 187% from 108,000 in March.

“The Web is changing the way we consume politics. Whereas talk radio and other ideology-specific media outlets attract party loyalists, we found that there was an 18% overlap between unique visitors to Democratic and Republican videos on YouTube. The site offers viewers (related) videos that are relevant to what they have already seen, which leads to the discovery and consumption of new content across party lines,” said Lee.

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