Conservative podcast host Steven Crowder’s election night coverage garnered millions of views on YouTube, more evidence of a growing trend of viewers looking to sources other than the establishment media for important news and commentary.
As of this writing, Crowder’s election night coverage streamed on YouTube has amassed 8.1 million views. His coverage of election updates and news the following day attracted another 3.1 million views online. The impressive showing may be a bell-weather for the future of media as newcomers compete with legacy media corporations.
Crowder’s election night stream topped all but two of the networks covering the election on cable. Fox News won the ratings battle with 14 million viewers from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Tuesday night. CNN was a distant second and comparable to Crowder’s audience on YouTube with nine million viewers on election night, according to Fox News.
Crowder’s stream online beat out MSNBC, ABC, CBS, and NBC, and managed to do it while being restrained by YouTube as “borderline content.” The video platform, which is owned by Google, has taken steps in recent years to elevate “authoritative” and more established voices on its website while reducing the reach of others — big tech censorship that has inspired many conservatives to join Crowder’s Mug Club, “the only place for all of Crowder uncensored and on-demand.”
“So over the past couple of years, we’ve been working to raise authoritative voices on YouTube and reduce the spread of borderline content and harmful misinformation,” the platform said in a press release in December of 2019. “And we are already seeing great progress. Authoritative news is thriving on our site. And since January 2019, we’ve launched over 30 different changes to reduce recommendations of borderline content and harmful misinformation. The result is a 70% average drop in watch time of this content coming from non-subscribed recommendations in the U.S.”
Crowder has battled with YouTube in the past and, in August, his channel was remonetized after spending a year banned from YouTube’s “Partner Program” that allows content creators to run ads on their videos. As The Daily Wire reported at the time:
YouTube reinstated Crowder into its Partner Program on [Aug. 12] after suspending him on June 5, 2019, over comments and jokes he made about then-Vox journalist Carlos Maza, as well as for selling merchandise with the label “Socialism is for f*gs,” according to Tubefilter.
At the time it demonetized Crowder, YouTube had conceded that none of Crowder’s content had violated its hate policies. The video platform ultimately decided to pull advertising off of Crowder’s content after stating that the commentator had engaged in a “pattern of egregious actions” that “harmed the broader community and is against our YouTube Partner Program policies.”
In September, Crowder again had a run-in with the platform when it allegedly cut off his livestream coverage of a CNN town hall with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. As The Daily Wire reported at the time:
According to screenshots posted to “Louder with Crowder,” YouTube cut the show’s stream after an apparently fraudulent claim of copyright infringement was reported. The account that reported the false claim has run the same apparent scam against other YouTubers outside of Crowder, too.
“[I]f the channel receives three hard strikes, we’re out,” wrote Courtney Kirchoff at “Louder with Crowder.” “We take strikes seriously. But this strike, from the looks of it, is completely invalid. That’s a polite way of saying it’s bulls***. Yet our stream was still removed from the largest free online streaming ‘platform’ in the world.”
To protect against censorship and demonetization by social media platforms, Crowder offers membership options with BlazeTV to help keep his highly popular content coming.