YouTube 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:
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:
|Subscribers||Videos||Channel Views||Total Upload Views|
|2||The New York Times||36,710||2,148||949,788||26,827,939|
|4||BBC World News||21,839||450||Not available||Not available|
|6||Fox News Channel||17,947||1,968||589,302||12,499,452|
|10||Los Angeles Times||9,480||2,745||280,093||34,056,343|
|14||WSJ Digital Network||4,890||536||359,245||9,199,672|
|18||The Economist||3,716||108||57,028||Not available|
|19||The Washington Post||3,552||256||231,931||4,409,583|
|25||The Christian Science Monitor||1,234||70||17,214||62,987|
|26||The Daily Beast||1,085||330||35,876||4,961,708|
|27||The Huffington Post||455||18||16,868||165,885|
|28||BBC World News America||382||58||9,150||247,974|
|29||The Boston Globe||325||408||31,018||222,156|
|30||The Financial Times||244||15||3,799||36,784|
|32||Daily Mail (UK)||103||17||3,226||324,512|
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 Views||Channel Views||Subscribers||Videos|
|3||Los Angeles Times||34,056,343||280,093||9,480||2,745|
|4||The New York Times||26,827,939||949,788||36,710||2,148|
|7||Fox News Channel||12,499,452||589,302||17,947||1,968|
|13||WSJ Digital Network||9,199,672||359,245||4,890||536|
|16||The Daily Beast||4,961,708||35,876||1,085||330|
|17||The Washington Post||4,409,583||231,931||3,552||256|
|24||BBC World News America||247,974||9,150||382||58|
|25||The Boston Globe||222,156||31,018||325||408|
|26||The Huffington Post||165,885||16,868||455||18|
|27||The Christian Science Monitor||62,987||17,214||1,234||70|
|28||The Financial Times||36,784||3,799||244||15|
|30||The Economist||Not available||57,028||3,716||108|
|31||BBC World News||Not available||Not available||21,839||450|
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 MSNBC.com 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:
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: