Candidates' YouTube Videos In TV Time

  • October 28, 2008
How much would it cost the presidential candidates to put all their YouTube videos on TV? Nearly $47 million for Barack Obama compared to just $1.5 million for John McCain, according to a cursory analysis done by Democratic strategist Joe Trippi.

The calculation starts with figures from TubeMogul showing that Obama's YouTube videos totaled 14.5 hours in length, while McCain's added up to only about a half hour (not including voter-submitted candidate videos). Asked by the blog techPresident to estimate the equivalent cost of TV time, Trippi looked at the Denver market, where it would cost $35,000 for a 30-second spot reaching the city's 1.3 million residents.

Further calculation combined with the TubeMogul totals ultimately produced the estimated $46.9 million for Obama and the far smaller $1.5 million valuation for McCain's YouTube videos. Trippi stressed, however, that YouTube videos and TV ads is not an apples-to-apples comparison. TV is a push medium, while online video is more a pull one, where people have to choose to watch clips.

In any case, the exercise underscores the prominent role of YouTube in modern campaigns.--Mark Walsh



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