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October 24, 2023

Biggest news publishers on Youtube: GB News and Piers Morgan Uncensored pass 1m subscribers

GB News also topped 1bn views and is claiming to be the fastest-growing UK publisher ever on Youtube.

By Bron Maher

CNN remains the most-followed English-language news publisher on Youtube, Press Gazette analysis has found.

But right-wing rival Fox News has knocked CNN off the top spot for all-time video views, pulling ahead by some 600 million streams. In our last ranking, in June 2022, Fox was behind CNN by 200 million.

In the past 16 months, seven publishers crossed the one million subscriber mark to enter Press Gazette’s ranking for the first time – including the accounts for opinion-led UK broadcaster GB News and global TalkTV programme Piers Morgan Uncensored.

Gannett-owned USA Today also stands out as a particularly rapid riser, jumping from the 29th most-followed publisher in Press Gazette’s 2022 list to 16th this year.

If you know of an English-language news publisher that has more than one million subscribers on Youtube but does not appear below, let us know at pged@pressgazette.co.uk.

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[From June 2022: The biggest English-language news outlets on Youtube and their most popular videos]

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The most-followed and most-watched news publishers on Youtube in October 2023

CNN remains the most-followed publisher in Press Gazette’s ranking, boosting its subscriber figures by 12% between June 2022 and October 2023 to 15.7 million. It is followed by the US broadcaster ABC News, which holds second place after growing its subscribers by 15% to 15.2 million.

BBC News also remains static at third place, but has grown faster than CNN and ABC News, boosting subscribers by 21% to 15.1 million.

The major change high up in the ranking comes from Al Jazeera English, which has jumped two spots to fourth place, passing Vox and Fox News.

Although CNN is first for subscribers, it has been overtaken by Fox News as the most-watched publisher on Youtube. Fox saw a 33% increase in its overall view count in the 16 months between June 2022 and October 2023, and now boasts more than 15 billion views for its main Youtube channel. CNN saw growth of 25% over the same period.

Most of the top-ten most-watched Youtube news publishers have maintained the same rank as last year. The highest-ranked exception is Insider (4.9 billion views as of October), which has fallen one spot to seventh as NBC News grew its views by more than 55% to 6.3 billion.

New entrants: Piers Morgan Uncensored and GB News pass 1m subscribers

There are 11 new additions to Press Gazette's ranking in 2023, seven of which passed the one million subscriber mark since the last analysis in June 2022. The remaining four appear to have already had one million subscribers, but were missed in last year's analysis.

The seven newly-qualifying entrants, which passed the one million subscriber mark, are:

  • Australia's 9 News
  • BBC News Africa
  • CBN News, the news service of the Pat Robertson-founded Christian Broadcasting Network
  • Canadian network CTV News
  • New York local broadcaster Eyewitness News ABC7NY
  • Opinion-led UK broadcaster GB News
  • Piers Morgan Uncensored, the flagship programme for UK opinion-led broadcaster TalkTV which also airs in the US and Australia.

The other four added to our list are Indian news agency ANI News, English-language Chinese state broadcaster CGTN, Turkish public broadcaster TRT World and DW Documentary, the longform arm of German news agency Deutsche Welle.

GB News passed one million subscribers in September and hit one billion views last week.

The outlet's chief digital officer Geoff Marsh said: "This is astounding growth at record speed and proves GB News is cutting through to the people of the UK – the numbers don’t lie.”

GB News, which launched on TV in June 2021 while its Youtube channel was created four months earlier, claimed in a statement that the figures meant it has become "officially the fastest-growing British news provider ever" on Youtube.

However the account for TalkTV's Piers Morgan Uncensored has put on 800,000 more followers than GB News. Morgan's Youtube channel was created in November 2021 and TalkTV went live in April 2022.

Vox still top for most views per video

Although it has dropped a few spots on the most-subscribed list, Vox remains well ahead of the competition in terms of how many views each of its videos get.

Mona Lalwani, editorial director of Vox's video arm, told Press Gazette last year that much of its success came from its approach to explanatory journalism: "The way that news comes at us is hard and fast and splintered. And I think Vox does a really good job of gluing that information together."

The next-closest publisher for average views, the newly-included DW Documentary, attracted a mean of 756,000 viewers for each of its videos, compared with 2.08 million for Vox.

[Read more: How Vox became world’s top news publisher on Youtube]

USA Today jumps up rankings; Sun, Daily Mail and Telegraph also see big gains

One publisher is first when it comes to both most audience growth and most growth in cumulative views: Gannett-owned USA Today saw a 158.7% increase in its overall Youtube view count between June 2022 and October 2023.

It now has 3.1 billion views, putting it between Vice News (also 3.1 billion) and The Guardian (2.8 billion) in the ranking.

Also seeing substantial views growth were Rupert Murdoch-owned Sky News Australia (up 89.3%), The Sun (85.3%), the UK's Telegraph (61.7%) and the UK's Sky News (61.3%).

On subscriber growth, USA Today rose by 135% to just under five million. It now ranks 16th, behind The Telegraph - itself the second fastest growing publisher for subscribers, up 70% on June 2022.

Email pged@pressgazette.co.uk to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
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