Republicans Gaining In YouTube Viewership

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It could be indicative of the natural ebb and flow of political interest – one side screws up and the people look to the other side just long enough to see what they have to say about it and then turn their attention back to the other side. That may be the case on YouTube, as views of Republican candidate videos spike while Democrat video views decline.

YouTube Goes To The Elephants
YouTube Goes To The Elephants

The GOP is still a bit behind though. Nielsen//NetRatings reports that Republican videos were viewed just under a third of the time users spend watching political videos in April. But that’s an increase of 21 percent over March.

Democrat candidate videos, in contrast, pulled in 69 percent in the same month, actually decreasing by about the same amount.

“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 the nature of social media is that 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.”

In March, Democrats hogged all the spotlight at the monstrously successful video-sharing site, pulling 89 percent of the total time spent by viewers. For Republicans, it was just 10 percent.

What’s more interesting is individual candidate interest. Hillary Clinton attracted 77 percent of viewing time March, dropping 54 percentage points in April as viewers turned their attention to Barack Obama (up from 9 percent to 20 percent) and John Edwards (up from 5.7 percent to 16 percent).

Republican candidate John McCain saw a nice spike, too, but not for good reasons – it was rendition of "Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran" that won their attention.

“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 percent overlap between unique visitors to Democratic and Republican videos on YouTube.

"The site offers viewers 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.

*It’s like living in the Twilight Zone as all these Jasons keep popping up. Jason was the most popular name for baby boys in the 1970s and now we’re paying the price. I went with my full name to differentiate myself from the five other Jason Millers who are writers, one that’s a rodeo guy, and another that’s a race car driver (thanks Google), only to learn that an actor on the show "The OC" was also using my full name (but I kill in the Google results for it), and he most likely is quite angry at Jason Lee, the actor in "My Name Is Earl," whom I’ve had my eye on since "Mallrats," and who this Nielsen//NetRatings Jason Lee must also be miffed about. All the Jason Millers, Jason Lees, and Jason Lee Millers need to have a meeting to work this out. I may have to officially change my name to Jason Lee Miller, Lord and Baron of Ladonia. 

Republicans Gaining In YouTube Viewership
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