Onkyo today announced the fully loaded 9.2-channel TX-NR929 Network A/V Receiver to crown its...
YouTube Comes of Age as News Source
The site that brought us ‘Charlie Bit Me’ is an increasingly important news platform for millions around the world, according to new study from the Pew Research Center.
YouTube, the site that rose to prominence with videos of cats playing the piano, is now a bona fide news source for millions around the globe, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism.
“Worldwide, YouTube is becoming a major platform for viewing news. In 2011 and early 2012, the most searched term of the month on YouTube was a news-related event five out of 15 months, according to the company’s internal data,” Pew noted.
Pew tracked around 260 videos that were among the five most-viewed in YouTube’s “News & Politics” channel from January 2011 to March 2012 for the study, which was released Monday.
Researchers found that disaster footage such as video of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan and video of political upheaval were the most popular types of news content searched for and viewed on YouTube.
Slickly produced entertainment content tended to be more popular than news video over time, Pew found, but major news events could generate more YouTube views over a short period than even the most popular music or movie video. For example, the Japanese earthquake and the killing of Osama bin Laden were among the news stories that were the most searched for items on YouTube in four out 12 months in 2011.
Citizen journalists are increasingly contributing to video news production on Google-owned YouTube and other video-hosting sites, Pew found.
“More than a third of the most watched videos (39 percent) were clearly identified as coming from citizens. Another 51 percent bore the logo of a news organization, though some of that footage, too, appeared to have been originally shot by users rather than journalists,” the researchers said, adding that almost 40 percent of video originally produced by news organizations were posted by users not affiliated with the organization, as well.
President Barack Obama was the single-most popular individual to appear as the focus of heavily viewed news videos, but his appearance in just 4 percent of those videos (including his own speeches and appearances, as well as satirical content produced by his political opponents) wasn’t exactly awe-inspiring. In fact, Pew found that news videos focusing on individuals were not particularly popular with YouTube news viewerssome 65 percent of the most popular news videos during the study period didn’t feature any people at all.
On average, YouTube news videos (2 minutes, 1 second) are longer than local TV news segments (41 seconds) and shorter than national network evening news segments (2 minutes, 23 seconds), but YouTube news videos varied much more in length than either of those heavily structured formats. Among the most popular YouTube news videos, 29 percent were under a minute, 21 percent were one to two minutes, 33 percent were two to five minutes, and 18 percent were longer than five minutes, the researchers said.
By Damon Poeter, PCMag