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User-Generated Online Video Swamping Official Obama, Romney Content on YouTube

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, August 27 2012

From the beginning of the 2011-2012 U.S. Presidential election campaign in April 2011, there have nearly 2 billion views of videos tagged about Barack Obama or Mitt Romney on YouTube, Ramya Raghavan of YouTube Politics blogged today.

Of those, just about 100 million views are of official videos made by all of the presidential campaigns, including the other Republican primary contenders. That is, just 5% of the total views of videos about the American presidential candidates is official media, as opposed to user-generated content.

Back in 2008, the ratio by the end of the election was 10%, or 150 million views out of 1.5 billion, according to data from TubeMogul and Divinity Metrics, that looked solely at videos containing either Barack Obama or John McCain's name in the title.

This isn't a precisely apples-to-apples comparison, yet, but the general trend line is clear. The political campaigns are swimming in a sea of user-generated content, even moreso than in 2008. "In 2008 YouTube experienced several hundred million views a day, compared to four billion in 2012," Raghavan told techPresident. "And in 2008, 13 hours were uploaded every minute. Now it's 72 hours uploaded each minute."

This post has been corrected and updated. There have been nearly 100 million views of videos made by all the major presidential campaigns, not just Obama and Romney.

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