Deleveraging Creative Capital: A Decade of YouTube Campaigning

Deleveraging Creative Capital: A Decade of YouTube Campaigning

Robert John Klotz (University of Southern Maine, Portland, USA)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/IJEP.2019010101
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The purpose of this research is to improve understanding of how democratized video technology is changing the market for video communication during political campaigns. The same content analysis methodology was applied to United States senate campaign YouTube videos during both the 2006 election when YouTube first made its mark on politics and the 2016 election a decade later. The evidence does not support the theory that democratized video technology will produce new winners communicating in new ways about political campaigns. The 2016 election was marked by a slight increase in the proportion of repurposed television ads compared to the 2006 election. Over the course of its first decade, the market for political campaign communication on YouTube has increasingly struggled to attract investors of creative capital.
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Theoretical Background

There is a compelling theory why video sharing technology will alter the nature of video campaign communication. The landscape for video communication in political campaigns beyond the Internet is fairly straightforward. It is dominated by brief television ads from candidates, political parties, and groups. Media outlets supplement this with the occasional campaign news story and television debate. There is little evidence that this landscape is a product of the desire of the electorate. Citizens generally express disapproval of the brief ads that dominate the video presence of campaigns. Rather than citizen demands, the video landscape is a product of the structure of traditional media that makes ubiquitous the 30 second-ad. Scarce ad time is reasonably affordable only to established participants like candidates, groups, and parties.

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