Why Young Turks Beats ABC News on YouTube

If you were to think of the top news and politics channel on YouTube, you’d probably think it’s one of the big boys: CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox. You’d be wrong. According to OpenSlate, a company that provides metrics and rankings for YouTube channels, the highest ranking news and politics channel is The Young Turks.

“The Young Turks” is a political talk show from Cenk Uygur first airing on Sirius Satellite Radio in 2002. A little over a year ago, it moved to Current TV. Uygur has built a formidable YouTube presence with 385,000 subscribers and more than 800 million video views. Through its YouTube Channel, “The Young Turks” has been able to have a dialogue with its fans, creating a devoted fan base, something agencies pay close attention to.

Compare this with the No. 5 outlet on this list, ABC News, which has 116,000 subscribers and 21 million monthly views. OpenSlate values areas like engagement, influence and consistency measuring the categories on a scale of 1 to 10. The Young Turks, young as they are compared to ABC, has higher ratings in those three key areas. Most notably, in the engagement arena, The Young Turks scores an 8.4, while ABC scores a 7.9.

But The Young Turk brand is still not well known among brands and agencies.

According to OpenSlate, engagement refers to how a video producer can create a “captivating experience;” influence means how a channel can push activity across an audience; consistency is a producer’s ability to replicate its success. The company also mixes in other metrics, like subscribers and monthly views. This explains why there is a mix of household names and some random content producers.

With buyers trying to reach as many people across the vast Web, OpenSlate’s metrics can help agencies and brands determine where they should be to reach more viewers. Since it’s notoriously hard to define squishy terms like engagement and influence on the Web, an algorithm can be helpful to agencies, if not to the publishers looking to find more ways to engage and influence.

Below are the top 10 channels in the News and Politics sector, based on the SlateScore. Notice how there are only three mainstream publishers in this category, ABC News, CBS and the Associated Press.