News from YouTube?

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News from YouTube?

Sep 04, 2019

Our thirteenth minisode of “The Creative Influencer” podcast is available today for download on iTunes, Spotify, and premier platforms everywhere.  In minisodes, we answer questions that our listeners have emailed Jon.  In this minisode, Jon discusses a recent survey that shows more teens get their news from YouTube than from traditional news media.


A transcript of the episode follows:

This is Season two, Minisode thirteen. Today’s email comes from Michael.

Subject: News from YouTube

Hi Jon,

I’m 28 years old and have two younger brothers. My “baby” brother is 15. I know he’s on YouTube all the time, but I’ve never asked him what he watches. The other day I saw a report that over half of teenagers get their news from YouTube. Can that be true? What could they possibly be watching that qualifies as news? I could just ask my brother but I’d like your take on it.


Hi Michael,

The first thing I’d do is I would ask your brother what he watches. You might be surprised.

But to answer your question, I went to the source. A child education nonprofit called Common Sense conducted a survey through SurveyMonkey. 1,005 teenagers—and I know that sounds like a random number, but that’s what they reported—took the survey from June 14 to 25, 2019.

Here are some of the things they found:

     · 78% of teens 13 to 17 say it’s important for them to follow current events.

OK, that’s a good sign.

     · 50% of teens get their news from YouTube while only 37% get news from TV.

This is one I found surprising:

     · teens are just as likely to get their news from influencers and celebrities (31%) as they are from news organizations (31%).

And then:

     · YouTube recommendations drive news consumption.

So, the algorithm matters.

Interestingly, and I looked for it, the survey did not include information about what videos teens watched that are considered “news.”

But the clear lesson for news organizations is that they should embrace YouTube if they want the next generation of viewers to see their content.

That’s it for this minisode. I’ll be watching the news on YouTube!

The Creative Influencer is a podcast about YouTubers.

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