Viewership for President-elect Barack Obama’s weekly YouTube “fireside chats” has tanked, dropping more than 50 percent since his initial video three weeks ago.
“I’ve heard a lot of puffed-up rhetoric about how this is going to change the face of politics and how it’s going to be FDR’s fireside chats. The data doesn’t back it up,” said David Burch, marketing manager for TubeMogul, which tracks YouTube video views.
The first video address, released four weekends ago, drew 789,868 viewers over its first three days and is nearing 1 million total, according to TubeMogul’s figures. But the second video was viewed 451,077 times in three days, Thanksgiving weekend’s video garnered 152,222 views, and this weekend’s fourth installment had about 370,000 views as of Monday evening.
By Stephen Dinan
The Washington Times
Interest in Mr. Obama’s postelection YouTube channel, ChangeDotGov, is down substantially overall compared with the heady days of his campaign, when BarackObama.com regularly cracked the top 10 channels and some of his videos drew more than 5 million views.
The drop from Mr. Obama’s campaign to the transition may have been inevitable, given what the campaign achieved. Mr. Obama compiled a list of e-mail supporters 13 million strong, raised money from about 4 million of them, and drew millions of them to BarackObama.com to look for videos, exchange ideas and generally express their admiration for the candidate.
Now, he’s no longer their candidate. Instead, he has to strike a balance as president that appeals to even those who didn’t vote for him or weren’t part of his movement.
Mr. Obama’s campaign didn’t immediately have a comment on the numbers. But members of his new-media team, speaking at a symposium in New York last week, said the difference between a candidate and a president is affecting how the Web site is run.