Oct 13, 2016

Online vs. TV: Presidential debates

We always use highlights - Superbowl, breaking news, or presidential elections - to measure the state of digital in comparison to other, traditional media channels. I believe we need to careful with these, but they are still great indicators about how (audiovisual) content is distributed. This article shows a nice overview of numbers for the second presidential debates. While TV reported a viewership of 63 million (let's ignore for a moment how they measure it, and how many unique viewers these were, or how many minutes were watched per unique vier per average), the Facebook live stream reached 7.4mn viewers. And YouTube's videos round the debate aggregated some 124 million views (although here too, we don't know the uniques). While TV viewership from debate I to debate II declined 20 percent, the YT views went up 40%. Maybe that's an indicator for a viewing behaviour of people who, if they don't follow the full event on TV (or something else on TV), using YT and other digital channels to catch up and watch highlights. Overall, YT views for presidential debates grew sixfold compared to the 2012 views. More numbers here: