Although Donald Trump said at the Republican National Convention a week ago that he has more support in the audience than Democratic candidate Biden, Nielsen TV has the opposite view. The organization of the convention spread stories that a larger audience followed Trump's speech than the audience that followed Biden's speech at the virtual democratic convention. Inflated media speculation states that Trump is the winner, although the official numbers deny it. The trick is that television ratings are one thing, and online video views are quite another. Nielsen counts television ratings in a standard way, while online video views are collected on various pages and are rather vague.
According to Nielsen, an average of 24.6 million viewers watched Biden's DNC address across twelve TV networks. An average of 23.8 million viewers watched coverage of Trump's RNC address across thirteen networks.
"It's preposterous for the President to suggest more people watched the RNC convention. You can't just bolt on the online views of clips to the live broadcast numbers," said Jason Kint, the CEO of Digital Content Next, a trade association for digital publishers.
"To be fair," Kint added, "the Biden camp appears to have done the same thing at the conclusion of the DNC."
The TV rating estimates the average number of viewers for each minute of the program, while the online rating counts the passing views of the video and not the audience from start to finish. And there is no industry standard for the dozens of websites where convention coverage was live-streamed. Different sites measure video traffic differently.