America held its breath on Thursday as Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee over sexual assault allegations. Although it was broadcast on multiple TV networks, many viewers watched live feeds online and checked out related clips uploaded to YouTube and Facebook both during and after the event.
We partnered with social video analytics company Tubular Labs to take a quick look at video stats related to Ford/Kavanaugh content. Facebook videos uploaded since Thursday morning on the topic have received 172 million views, and similar videos have been viewed 59.4 million times on YouTube. Live streams on from news media publishers on Facebook received 34.9 million views.
On Facebook, White House Brief (a show run by Conservative Review TV) had the most views by far among all creators, with 22 million. NowThis Politics was second with 11.1 million, followed by CNN (8.4 million), ABC News (6.7 million) and Fox News (6.5 million). Conservative news creators are connecting with their audience at a significant rate on Facebook, as evidenced by the view counts White House Brief (and to a lesser extent, Fox News and Breitbart) generated.
Views were similarly right-leaning at the top of the charts on YouTube. Fox News led all creators with 6.1 million views, and conservative-focused Amicus Humani Generis was fourth with 3.4 million.
But beyond those were more liberal creators, and a fractured audience between various news and entertainment channels. CNN was second overall on the platform, with 5.1 million views, followed by The Daily Show (3.8 million). Late Night with Seth Meyers (3.3 million), MSNBC (3.2 million) and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (2.9 million) also finished among the top 10 creators.
The data shows that right now, whether through Facebook or YouTube, conservatives have a much stronger direct-to-consumer firehose for this sort of content than liberals do. Conservative media is concentrated on just a handful of channels, but ones that hit their audience consistently. Liberal media has a lot of viewers, but they’re spread across a variety of creators. There’s no small handful of channels to go to in the case of the left-leaning. They have a variety of news and entertainment outlets to go to in the case of major news.
For both sides of the aisle, these super creators also make up just a sample of what’s available around Thursday’s hearing, or any other news item. Short recaps and video memes were distributed by numerous creators too, further fracturing audiences toward these even smaller (but still popular) channels, too.