Online Video Emerges As Factor During Political Campaign Season

With more than 1 million spots aired to date during the 2012 political advertising season, according to a report released last week by the Wesleyan Media Project, much of the political media analysis has been focused on the impact of television. But another form of video -- the online kind -- is also playing a greater role in influencing the views of American voters.

More than half (55%) of registered voters have watched political videos online during the presidential campaign season, according to an analysis released Friday by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Among registered voters who utilize online media, the percentage was even higher -- 66% -- with a slight edge going to Democrats (69%) versus Republicans (64%) and Independents (65%).

Not surprisingly, the study found that social media is a major factor in the distribution and discovery of political online videos, with 62% of the respondents citing recommendations from others.



“As with watching online political videos, there are few partisan differences when it comes to having others recommend online political video content. The one exception pertains to social networking sites,” reads the report. “Liberal Internet users who are registered voters are significantly more likely than Moderates or Conservatives to have had others recommend online political videos for them to watch on social networking sites.”

Political biases aside, the primary content of political online videos were news reports (48%), speeches, press conferences of debates (40%), informational or issues-oriented (39%), and humorous parodies (37%), while online video advertising was an also-ran (36%). 

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