The Most Popular News Sites on YouTube

YouTube logoYouTube is both a major opportunity and an interesting challenge for news sites. News organizations want to drive video impressions to their own sites but since YouTube dominates the online video world they need to have a presence there. So whether they see it as a necessarily evil or a great chance to reach new audiences, YouTube is in the social media mix.

In my ongoing look at mainstream media outlets and social media I have done multiple posts on news sites and Twitter, Facebook and Digg but I’ve yet to look at YouTube. So I thought I’d investigate how well news sites are doing at building channel subscribers and video views.

I compiled the figures by looking at the profile boxes on channel pages and from YouTube’s search results, for example:

LA Times YouTube Channel


AP YouTube Channel

Not every site shares the same information in its profile but I pulled as much data as I could. As a side note the subscriber counts shown in YouTube’s search results tend to lag behind the counts shown on the actual channel pages. For this post I used the larger of the numbers.

Here is a selection of mainstream media sites ranked by subscribers to their channel pages:

  SubscribersVideosChannel ViewsTotal Upload Views
2The New York Times36,7102,148949,78826,827,939
3CBS News22,31014,236807,68745,431,936
4BBC World News21,839450Not availableNot available
6Fox News Channel17,9471,968589,30212,499,452
7ABC News17,2174,056522,92226,065,220
10Los Angeles Times9,4802,745280,09334,056,343
13PBS NewsHour5,3516551,070,4461,264,061
14WSJ Digital Network4,890536359,2459,199,672
16The Guardian3,885878157,6133,661,099
18The Economist3,71610857,028Not available
19The Washington Post3,552256231,9314,409,583,824590146,79210,348,185
21Chicago Tribune2,772574164,8916,765,157
23USA Today1,93336152,5423,292,500
24MSNBC (msnbcreporter)1,55830333,493581,725
25The Christian Science Monitor1,2347017,21462,987
26The Daily Beast1,08533035,8764,961,708
27The Huffington Post4551816,868165,885
28BBC World News America382589,150247,974
29The Boston Globe32540831,018222,156
30The Financial Times244153,79936,784
32Daily Mail (UK)103173,226324,512

The Associated Press leads every category by a considerable margin. The New York Times, CBS News, BBC World News (see note below), CNN, Fox News, ABC News and Reuters have also attracted significant followings.

But subscribers are one thing and actual video views are another, so for further comparison here are the news sites ranked by total upload views:

  Total Upload ViewsChannel ViewsSubscribersVideos
2CBS News45,431,936807,68722,31014,236
3Los Angeles Times34,056,343280,0939,4802,745
4The New York Times26,827,939949,78836,7102,148
5ABC News26,065,220522,92217,2174,056
7Fox News Channel12,499,452589,30217,9471,968
13WSJ Digital Network9,199,672359,2454,890536
15Chicago Tribune6,765,157164,8912,772574
16The Daily Beast4,961,70835,8761,085330
17The Washington Post4,409,583231,9313,552256
19The Guardian3,661,099157,6133,885878
20USA Today3,292,50052,5421,933361
22PBS NewsHour1,264,0611,070,4465,351655
23MSNBC (msnbcreporter)581,72533,4931,558303
24BBC World News America247,9749,15038258
25The Boston Globe222,15631,018325408
26The Huffington Post165,88516,86845518
27The Christian Science Monitor62,98717,2141,23470
28The Financial Times36,7843,79924415
30The EconomistNot available57,0283,716108
31BBC World NewsNot availableNot available21,839450

AP again dominates the competition though it is important to note that having 36K+ videos on YouTube gives them a lot more opportunity for views.

Interestingly the Los Angeles Times is #10 in subscribers but it jumps to #3 in total upload views with only 2,745 videos. Alternatively CNN has 19,514 videos and is #5 in subscribers but it falls to #10 in total upload views.

Some additional notes:

1) Surprisingly I did not find a channel for NBC News. There is a main channel for the network and multiple channels for local affiliate stations but I could not find one for NBC News.

2) I also did not find a channel for Yahoo! News or AOL News although there is a general channel for Yahoo! that does include some news videos.

3) When I try to click through on the BBC World News channel included in the table above I get a “This channel is not available” message. I’m not sure if it is because US users are not allowed to access it (as with the main BBC channel) or if the channel has been taken down. But since the 21,839 subscribers reported in YouTube’s search results make it a top 5 news channel I included it in the table. There is also a BBC World News America channel but its most recent video is from 2008. So I wonder if BBC has stopped maintaining its news channels on YouTube.

4) I also could not find a current channel for MSNBC. There is an profile (called msnbcReporter) that has not been updated since 2008. And it looks like an individual grabbed the msnbc username back in 2006 for his own purposes:

MSNBC YouTube Channel

Since “jonathan” was apparently hoping to use the channel to show off his dance moves I thought it only appropriate to end this post with one of his videos:


  1. says

    Excellent report and analysis Adam. Hard to believe mainstream TV isn’t all over this. I think they’re afraid of Google/YouTube doing an end run on viewers/audience somehow. Same thinking that plagued the music industry 10 years ago. Adapt, change and speed ahead or die. Reference to other social media measures of influence here by NewsKnife Thanks for this post again.

  2. says

    Indeed a worthwhile read. It is surprising that NBC doesn’t have a channel; I wonder if and how that has affected them.

    Just discovered your site and am really enjoying it!

  3. says

    Thanks Jeff. I think you are right, mainstream TV news sees YouTube and other video aggregation sites as a double-edged sword so they are proceeding cautiously. And thanks for sharing your NewsKnife post; I didn’t realize they were rating journalists now.

    Melissa – I was surprised too that NBC News doesn’t have a channel. There is a main channel for NBC but it’s mainly focused on their entertainment programming. Glad you are enjoying the site!

    On a different note, clicking through to your T for Translation blog got me thinking about doing a post on what US media sites are doing with translation and localization. I know a number of consumer magazines are publishing in multiple languages, usually in partnership with a local company that manages the presence. Might be interesting to investigate.

  4. Melissa says


    Yes, I personally am not too familiar with the consumer magazine sector, but investigating further into that could indeed produce interesting results.

    A side note, though still related, street corner magazine stalls are a common sight here in Beijing (kind of the equivalent to 7-11s in HK), and whilst the majority of magazines are Chinese through and through you will find the occasional localized version of Vogue and other such higher-end fashion magazines.

    It just goes to show how times (and fashion, literally!) are changing.

  5. Brandon says

    The YOUNG TURKS are by far, the BEST news channel on youtube, hands down. Its funny how they didn’t make it into this list.

  6. says

    Kyle and Brandon – thanks for pointing out The Young Turks. They weren’t included when I did this post because I was focusing on mainstream news sites. It’s hard to do a comparison now since the data in the table above is from 2010, but if I do an update I’ll include them in the mix. But you’re right their 400K+ (as of October 2012) subscribers is certainly impressive.

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