How YouTube Can Make Your Congressional Hearing a Hit

Benghazi hearing draws crowds as first legislative live stream on the video sharing site.

A video of Wednesday’s Benghazi hearing that the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee live streamed on YouTube is already the 18th most viewed video out of roughly 2,400 on the committee’s page.

Wednesday was the first time any Congressional committee live streamed a hearing on YouTube, though most committees stream hearings on UStream or other sites.

The Benghazi video had been viewed nearly 35,000 times by Friday afternoon. About 29,600 of those views took place during the live stream, a committee spokesman said. That alone would have made it the 17th most viewed video ever posted to the committee’s YouTube page.

Oversight has a large catalogue of non-live videos on its page, including full hearings, clips from hearings and slickly produced videos criticizing the president and other Democratic officials. The most popular of them is still footage of General Services Administration employee Hank Terlaje singing about spending building operations funds “all on fun” in a contest for the agency’s infamous $823,000 2010 Western District conference.

Oversight has regularly turned to YouTube to get its content to the public, vegetables and red meat alike.

The controversial and partisan question of Obama administration errors in the wake of the attack on an American consulate in Benghazi, Libya was sure to draw crowds in any case. Taking that conversation to the world’s most popular video sharing site certainly helped, though, and other committees looking to give an issue more public attention should take notice.

The average viewer of the Benghazi hearing live stream tuned in for about 26 minutes, the committee spokesman said. The highest number of viewers at any given point was 2,945. The stream yielded 788 comments.