Since April 2015, when most presidential candidates announced their campaigns, YouTube viewers have watched over 110 million hours of election-related videos on the site. This means YouTube has provided more election content than CNN, C-SPAN, MSNBC, and Fox News combined.

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The 2016 election season shows that online video content dominates television completely. Candidates are finding that YouTube videos reach their supporters faster and in a more controlled fashion than any news station. Conversely, since YouTube allows anyone to upload videos, viewers have a wide variety of political viewpoints to choose from when they visit the site.

It is projected that in 2016, companies and individuals will spend $1 billion on digital ads, which is a 50,000% increase from 2008. YouTube also provides more analytical data than television. Anyone who has an account can view who they are reaching, how many views they are getting, what works, and what does not.

Facebook has a vibrant video platform with billions of daily views. Facebook, however, does not directly match YouTube’s viewership because, in addition to being a video platform, Facebook is a social network. A Facebook user may watch videos that show up in his Newsfeed, but it is unlikely that he will use the site solely for that purpose. YouTube is unique because its users visit the site with the express purpose of watching videos.

Small businesses trying to make a successful video campaign should take heed. Just as political campaigns are discovering that YouTube is the most effective way to use video to make an emotional connection with their supporters, so too should businesses realize that they can grow their audiences easily and cheaply through YouTube.

Sourcing via Wired.