Sen. Barack Obama is beating Sen. John McCain in the YouTube sphere, but with the help of advertising, the Republican candidate has been able to close the gap some.Keep it up, bloggers.
Where Mr. Obama has been posting vast quantities of video from appearances around the country, Mr. McCain's team has been posting easy-to-digest 30-second and 60-second ads.
The day after the first presidential debate, a McCain video of Mr. Obama agreeing with him on multiple points helped Mr. McCain beat him in channel views.
As has been widely noted, these so-called TV spots may or may not get much airtime at all, but on the web they serve as de facto national ads; they are embedded and linked to on blogs. And a few of them have ended up on national TV, free of charge, thanks to cable news channels.
Two weeks ago, for example, the McCain campaign posted a 30-second spot called "McCain Is Right," which was merely a montage of Mr. Obama crediting Mr. McCain for being right during the first debate. That video, posted right after the debate last Friday Sept. 26, helped Mr. McCain get more channel views than Mr. Obama on Saturday, a day when the nation was digesting who had won and why.
The Obama team routinely churns out a dozen YouTube videos in a single day. Since the beginning of the campaign, Mr. Obama's channel has had 69 million views to Mr. McCain's 18 million.
But ever since the nominees were selected and Mr. McCain focused TV attack ads on Obama and posted them on the web, Mr. Obama's volume advantage has diminished.
Mr. Obama narrowly won August, 9.3 million to Mr. McCain's 7.6 million. In July, a month when Mr. McCain had some big web hits, including the now-infamous ad comparing Mr. Obama to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, Mr. McCain had 3 million YouTube-channel views compared with Mr. Obama's 3.2 million.