Americans are following this year’s election on the Internet. Over the past year, they’ve watched more than 110 million hours of election content on the YouTube video site.
That, YouTube says, is 100 times more hours viewed than election content viewed on U.S. cable news channels C-SPAN, CNN, MSNBC and Fox News combined, ever.
Who’s tuning in? Young people mostly. Nearly 6 in 10 who use YouTube as a news source are under the age of 35.
Changing communication technologies have always been part of U.S. election campaigns. Young people may be following elections in new ways, said Darrell West of the Brookings Institution, a think tank in Washington, but what’s important to them hasn’t changed. “The things that really motivate young people are the big issues of the economy and war and peace,” said West. “Those are more fundamental than the platforms by which they get information.”