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Fun With YouTube Insight: Who is Watching Obama?

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, July 23 2009

YouTube's new decision to make usage metrics publicly available give us a whole new trove of information to mine about how various political actors and messages are doing. This information--who’s watching your videos, geographic distribution, traffic flows and total views, ratings by users--has always been available to video publishers through YouTube's Insight tool. Now, if publishers choose to make that info public, we can see it too. Some examples of what you can find out: President Obama's special video message to the Iranian people on the Nowruz holiday, which has more than 600K views, was "most popular" in Iran: His policy speech announcing a "new strategy" for Afghanistan and Pakistan was very popular in Pakistan...and in China. His Cairo speech to the Muslim world was highly popular not just in Egypt, but also several countries in Africa, especially Nigeria and Tanzania: It appears that the White House has not enabled viewing of demographic data about its YouTube videos, but over on Barack Obama's campaign YouTube channel, that data is available. So, you can learn that Obama's speech on race was most popular with both men and women between the ages of 45 and 54; while his appearance on "Ellen" where he shared his dance moves (his most popular video, with more than 7.7 million views) is not only most popular with those age groups, but also with girls ages 13 to 17!

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