Video Essentials

In Election 2016, Both Candidates Winning With Online Video Ads

In 2016, online media has become a major part of the political campaign (and we don’t just mean 3 AM tweets). Visible Measures has calculated data on how the major candidates are using online video.

voteThere’s not much of a tech gap this year, as both Democrats and Republicans have bene using branded video heavily across every platform, Visible Measure finds. All combined, the two parties’ videos have gotten nearly 1 billion views. Expect that to increase as we enter the final stretch.

So who’s winning (with online video, anyway)?

  • Hillary Clinton is ahead on reach. Her campaign videos have received 33 percent more views than Donald Trump’s, and have 82 percent more engaged viewing time.
  • Trump is ahead on views per clip. While his campaign doesn’t have as many online videos, the viewership per clip is 49 percent higher than Clinton’s. On Facebook, his videos have an average view rate 2.5 times that of Clinton’s, and have 2.1 times more engaged viewing.

The average viewer spends 25 second viewing a Clinton video and 22 seconds viewing a Trump video.

Where is all this viewing taking place?

  • Campaign videos are mostly watched on Facebook, then Instagram, then YouTube, Visible Measure finds.
  • Clinton gets two times as many social interactions on YouTube videos than Trump does. Trump, however, gets social interactions at a higher rate on Facebook (although Clinton has more Facebook views).

For anyone concerned about the tenor of this election (and politics in general), Visible Measures has bad news: The negative ads are more popular. For both sides, campaign ads attacking the opponent consistently drew more views than videos with positive messages. They also delivered more engaged viewing time.

Team Clinton has churned out a lot more videos than Team Trump, Visible Measures finds: From February to September, Clinton uploaded 98 videos per month compared to 49 per month from Trump.

Do you think candidates are using online video ads effectively? Leave a message below telling us what you’ve seen.


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