YouTube vs Television

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December 3, 2013

Top earning actors and channels with the most subscribers or viewers are good for comparison, but when it comes to the top shows on YouTube and standard television, YouTube is winning the competition hand over fist. The most viewed video on YouTube is Pys’s “Gangnam”, with 1.76 billion people tuning in. The season premier of Duck Dynasty, by comparison, the most watched show on television, earned just 11.7 million views. It is unclear whether the number of views per YouTube video includes users who viewed the video multiple times. It is also unclear whether the number of viewers per television show includes those who went online to watch an episode again.

If multiple views are counted for YouTube views, and only the first airing of a television show is counted for television, this could help account for the drastic difference. But even with a major adjustment, it would still be incredibly difficult to account for such a vast difference. Eminem’s “Love the Way You Lie”, featuring Rihanna, is the video with the fourth highest viewership on YouTube with a staggering 593.6 million views. The fourth most watched show on television is the very popular military drama NCIS, but the viewership for that show is just 8.3 million.

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