- The presidential debate Monday night was live streamed across a number of social platforms, and YouTube was a strong pack leader with almost 2 million concurrent live viewers, 3 million live watch hours served across the six different media streams and total debate video surpassing 88 million views, according to a company blog post.
- Facebook streamed ABC News’ debate coverage to over 8 million viewers, according to Variety; Twitter streamed Bloomberg TV’s, but hasn’t released its numbers.
- CBSN, CBS' 24/7 digital news streaming service, also showed the debate and announced it set a one-day viewership record at 2.98 million streams and 1.4 million unique viewers, according to a press release by the company.
Even given this year's wide array of streaming options for the presidential debates through non-traditional players like Facebook and Twitter, YouTube still has the strongest foothold in the space and may be harder to edge out in the future. YouTube reported its live streaming totals were, in fact, 14 times larger audience-wise than its streamed debate four years ago.
YouTube has the benefit of being broadcast through six different media outlets, where Facebook and Twitter only streamed content through one. But Twitter's hesitance to release its viewership numbers suggests they may have been less than stellar, considering the platform was happy to report the strong viewership it received for its first NFL broadcast earlier this month.
Any definitive takeaway for marketers in terms of the most effective platform for live streaming is unclear beyond opting for the most heavily viewed, but results seen from platforms like YouTube do indicate that consumers are more than happy to switch on devices other than linear TV, which has begun to slip a little as the lead destination for viewing live events such as Monday’s debate.
CBS, for its part, is smart to highlight the successes of its streaming service CBSN in that regard, as the platform hopes to eventually draw in numbers akin to its traditional TV counterpart.