The ratings are in for President Donald Trump’s joint address to Congress, and on its face, the numbers look underwhelming.
According to Nielsen data released on Wednesday, 47.74 million viewers from approximately the 9 pm to 10:15 pm slot across 11 networks watched President Trump’s speech. By those same measurements, 52.37 million people watched President Obama deliver his first address to Congress in 2009.
However, times have changed. Technology has advanced. In the digital age, owning a television and having a cable subscription is no longer needed to watch live events.
Through the advent of social media tools like Facebook Live, media outlets can broadcast livestreaming events to a wider audience through their mobile phones, tablet devices, and laptops.
If you look at the top two Facebook Live videos from Tuesday night’s address, President Trump beats President Obama in viewers.
The Facebook Live videos from the official White House account and Fox News put Trump over the top with 52.86 million viewers. Also, we’re only accounting two sources on social media. Dozens of other Facebook pages streamed Trump’s speech.
Mind you, streaming software didn’t exist like it does today when President Obama delivered his joint address to Congress in 2009. If you account the top six videos on Facebook between the White House, Fox News, NBC News, ABC News, Breitbart, and CNN, over 55.62 million viewers watched President Trump’s address to Congress.