Tuesday’s Democratic debate drew a record 15.3 million live viewers for CNN. More impressive, however, is the number of people that watched the debate via CNN’s live streaming feed via its mobile apps, website, and Apple TV channel. According to CNN, viewers peaked at 980,000 concurrent streams around 10:20 p.m., topping the 921,000 peak concurrent streams CNN had for the first GOP debate last month, and setting an all-time record for a live news event.
Political campaign ad spending has been historically crucial for the media industry in election years. But this time around, we may be seeing a significant portion of the ad dollars shifting toward digital and mobile. In fact, according to expert estimations, ad spending will top $4.4 billion for the presidential race, of which digital spending could take up about $1 billion in 2016, a staggering 576% growth over 2012. As livestreaming continues to evolve as a legitimate alternative to live TV, we expect to see more brand opportunities and content formats arise.