BuzzFeed 2020 Election Countdown Clock Video Stream Goes Viral

Todd Spangler
Variety

BuzzFeed’s latest live-video hit, in terms of bang for the buck on production dollars, is an absolute winner.

The millennial-skewing digital publisher last Wednesday posted a simple countdown clock until the 2020 election, following Donald Trump’s election night victory, showing the years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes and seconds until the next U.S. presidential election.

Since then, the Facebook video, backed by Muzak-y light jazz tracks, has been viewed more than 50 million times as of Monday at noon ET — and has been liked 1.3 million times and shared more than 780,000 times. The three-and-a-half live video was streamed on Nov. 9 starting at 5:35 p.m. ET.

That means the BuzzFeed countdown clock appears to have been viewed and shared by more people than its relatively pricey, TV-style election night coverage that was live-streamed exclusively via Twitter. That garnered 6.8 million unique viewers on election night 2016.

Clearly, BuzzFeed’s costs to produce the countdown-clock sight gag were de minimis, surely even less than what it cost to wrap dozens of rubber bands around a watermelon to make it explode (which has been viewed 11 million times).

While BuzzFeed is not generating revenue per se from the Facebook Live countdown-clock video, the stunt is aimed at building its brand awareness and reinforcing its cheeky editorial tone.

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