The Brookings Institution completed a study showing that while TV is still the best means for trashing opponents, online video is an effective place to enlist volunteers and reach the already-converted. It’s also an important place to disseminate campaign materials, reach the political elite, and engage the press:
“The Brookings Institution found that anyone likely to watch a political video on YouTube was younger, richer, more educated, more likely to be interested in politics – and more partisan. In other words, you don’t trawl the world’s largest online video site to help inform your point of view. You look through it to find political content that already confirms it.
The other factor, is that you can run political ads on YouTube for free, meaning lengthy missives to supporters that would cost you a fair amount of money on TV have a home there.
TV is different. You are more likely to find wavering voters, and ones less interested in politics on telly. And it costs money, so you need to make it count. As a result, though 22% of YouTube ads involved a character attack on an opponent, for TV that figure jumped to 38%”