Top Five Emerging News & Politics Channels on YouTube

/ Jan 12, 2014


The appeal of YouTube, just like the web itself, is that it has something for everyone. If you’re interested in watching those famous dogs-on-skateboard videos, you will be able to on YouTube. If you have an inkling to watch scripted drama, you will be able to on YouTube. If you want to be informed, or simply learn about something from someone who shares the same views as you, you will be able to on YouTube.

“Like other content on YouTube, news that was created for purposes other than the platform has a hard time getting traction,” says Mike Henry, CEO and founder of Outrigger Media. “The content that resonates is typically programmed to strike a chord with a particular interest group (left/right politics, sports, pop culture, music), is produced with consistency, and benefits from a high level of engagement and loyalty.”

In other words, news is a popular category on YouTube, but it’s not immune to the same content requirements as other genres are on the world’s biggest video site.

You can see it in the types of news-oriented programs that are already successful on YouTube. Phil DeFranco has built an online video empire, both via his own daily show and SourceFed, by finding people who feels the same way as he does about the big, interesting, and/or weird stories of the day. (There’s a reason he has been likened on more than one occasion as the Jon Stewart of YouTube.) Then there are The Young Turks, a news organization that has used its no-bullshit mentality for hard news to becoming one of the top news networks around online. “The Young Turks recently rallied their base to contribute more than $400K to a fundraising drive after originally setting out to raise $250K,” says Henry. This is even more impressive if you consider, according to Henry, that “hard news” has trouble finding success on YouTube, with the exception of those videos which are either shocking or funny, or are specific to an international country or audience.

So, which are the top upcoming news channels on YouTube? Which ones are using the YouTube platform in the way it’s supposed to, building an audience and a community over which they have an influence in. Who are the next Phil DeFrancos and The Young Turks? With the help of DigitasLBi and Outrigger Media, through the analytics company’s OpenSlate platform and its Emerging Talent Tracker tool, we are able to answer that question. Here are the top five emerging news and politics channels on YouTube:

5. TheIFilesTV

  • SlateScore: 361
  • Total Subs: 14,489
  • Monthly Views: 178,650

Produced by the Center of Investigative Reporting, The I Files curates the best investigative news videos from various outlets around the world, including the likes of The New York Times, ABC, BBC, and Al-Jazeera. In a way, The I Files epitomizes the web and YouTube. It may not sport the sexy subscriber number or view count that you’re looking for, but what it “lacks” there it makes up for in a highly attentive audience, scoring 8.7 out of 10 in terms of influence on the OpenSlate platform.

4. Climatempo

  • SlateScore: 364
  • Total Subs: 9,427
  • Monthly Views: 165,180

Climatempo is a Brazilian news channel on YouTube, offering everything from full-length episodes with news and politics updates to weather alerts. Most of the people who read this article are not very likely to watch this channel. But as YouTube as a global platform, so are the creators striving to find an audience through it. And honestly, if you’re planning to attend the World Cup later this year, or the Summer Olympics in two years, it might not be such a bad idea to shore up on your Brazilian.

3. 1OneMinuteNews

  • SlateScore: 512
  • Total Subs: 26,319
  • Monthly Views: 1,131,030

One Minute News has had a bit of trouble building an audience on YouTube — something which we’ve written about before. However, it appears the news organization is turning the ship around, as evidenced by its placement by the Emerging Tracker Tool. If you look at the channel, which looks to deliver the news to you from people “you (might) want to talk to,” it has found a strong personality. And as mentioned above, that’s one of (if not the most) important things on YouTube.

2. TheGuardian

  • SlateScore: 575
  • Total Subs: 70,443
  • Monthly Views: 1,724,460

This might be the most interesting channel on the list — who doesn’t know The Guardian? It’s one of the most recognizable news brands in the world. But on YouTube, it’s just getting started. Sound familiar? Traditional media companies have long had a difficult time transitioning their influence to YouTube, but an analysis of The Guardian’s channel, and you’ll see that it scores 9 out of 10 in terms of influence with its viewership. If it’s not there yet, it’s definitely getting there.

1. BarcroftMedia

  • SlateScore: 601
  • Total Subs: 278,354
  • Monthly Views: 60,408,750

Can a channel with nearly 300K subscribers and over 60 million monthly views be called emerging? Apparently so. While Barcroft Media’s Barcroft TV channel has already found success on YouTube, it’s nowhere near finished. The channel offers a variety of news clips from some of the most interesting and impressive events around the world. I mean, who doesn’t want to see a video of a volcano erupting in Indonesia for the first time in 100 years? Nobody! And Barcroft here is to satiate that appetite.

* Numbers as of January 8, 2014.


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  • Tom

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