Second Debate Much Bigger on YouTube, Twitter Than First

By Steve Safran 


Sunday’s presidential debate drew more viewers on YouTube than did the first debate. In fact, it wasn’t even close. According to YouTube’s blog, there were 124 million views of the debate live or on demand, up from 88 million in the first debate.

This was a highly-engaged audience, as well. According to YouTube:


On average, they watched the debate for nearly 25 minutes. And they came from all over the globe. After the U.S., top countries by viewership were: Canada, Mexico, Australia, Great Britain and Vietnam.

YouTube also compared the audience to that of the second presidential debate in 2012:

…we saw over 1.5M peak concurrent viewers, five times higher than the second presidential debate in 2012, and over 2.5M live watch hours, nearly six times higher than 2012.

UPDATE: Twitter also reports the second debate performed better than the first:

Twitter’s livestream of Bloomberg Politics’ presidential debate broadcast on Sunday night reached 3.2 million unique viewers, an increase of 30% over the first presidential debate, which reached 2.5 million unique viewers.

What’s interesting is that the TV audience for the second debate was much lower than that of the first debate. 84 million people watched the first one on TV—a record for a debate. 66.5 million watched the second debate.

People will have one last chance to watch a presidential debate in 2016. The third debate is Wednesday, Oct. 19, at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

EDIT: An earlier version of this article incorrectly wrote “124 million people watched on YouTube.” It was 124 million views. Thanks to Jason Kint @jason_kint for pointing out the obvious error, and my apologies to our readers.