Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders' Medicare for All Town Hall January 24, 2018, screen shot.
Vermont Business Magazine A national town hall on Medicare for all hosted by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) and digital media outlets The Young Turks, NowThis and ATTN: drew nearly 1.1 million live viewers Tuesday night, rivaling the viewership of cable news in primetime. By midday Wednesday, more than 1.6 million views had accumulated on the town hall video across platforms.
For the first time, leading digital outlets came together to do what cable channels and network news will not – engage in an in-depth conversation about health care and why the United States is the only major county not to guarantee health care to all.
"Far too often corporate television limits the nature of what we see and the discussions we have. This event will not be interrupted by commercials from drug or insurance companies or Wall Street," Sanders said at the town hall.
On Sanders' Facebook page alone, the town hall live stream had nearly 500,000 views by the time the event concluded at 8:30 p.m. ET. By midday Wednesday, another 200,000 people had watched the video.
The Young Turks' broadcasts on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter had a combined viewership of nearly 200,000. On Wednesday morning that number had risen to 251,000. NowThis' broadcast had more than 170,000 views on Facebook and YouTube Tuesday night, and ATTN:'s stream added another 80,000 viewers.
Other progressive outlets including Act.tv and CREDO Mobile also streamed the event and brought another 91,000 and 15,000 viewers, respectively, on Tuesday night.
"It was absolutely thrilling to be there and see both the audience response in person, as well as the incredible engagement happening online. It was very clear that this is an issue people are desperate to talk about, and that they're ready to debate solutions to the health care crisis in America. We're so proud for NowThis to have been a part of this great event and see it as just a starting point for an ongoing, incredibly important discussion," said Versha Sharma, managing editor at NowThis.
"ATTN: was proud to be part of last night's town hall. The event's success reinforces the idea that digital media is a powerful way for policy makers to reach people, and it proves that audiences are hungry to hear about real policy solutions," said Mike Vainisi, head of editorial at ATTN:.
“With more than 1 million viewers, last night’s Town Hall with Senator Bernie Sanders demonstrated how much the American people care about issues like Medicare for All. It’s crucial that we engage in real, substantive dialogue about these issues and TYT is proud to have been part of such an important event. Last night’s Town Hall was even more proof of the need and power of digital media that are in tune with the issues affecting the average American,” said Cenk Uygur, host and founder of The Young Turks.
The town hall was broadcast live from the Capitol Visitor Center Congressional Auditorium, where Sanders and panelists spoke in front of a full house of 450.
Source: Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. WASHINGTON, Jan. 24, 2018