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The Netflix effect?


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#1 RekF1

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Posted 28 October 2021 - 13:39

I thought this was quite interesting. Jacob Feldman did a deep dive into the reasons for the bump in popularity for F1 in the US. I've gone to the trouble of copying and pasting his findings.

"F1 was in trouble 5 years ago. The 3 words used to describe the sport were “expensive,” “technological” and (uh oh) “boring.” F1’s global TV audience shrunk by almost half from 2008 to ’16.

Then Liberty Media took over. Here’s what changed"

1. F1 Embraced Social

Before, teams couldn’t share any footage from official sessions (sound familiar?). That changed on Day 1 under Liberty. In one year, F1’s social channnels grew 55%. That set the stage for the openness necessary for Drive to Survive.

2. F1 Turned Races Into Events

Liberty made its 20 race weekends into “20 Super Bowls." Young fans want more than just a race, they want festivals. And parties don’t detract from the action.

BTW, having only 20 events on the calendar really helps too. Barries to entry are real.

3. F1 Made Telecasts More Welcoming

Sean Bratches called for a total revitalization of the production: "We are trying to make it simpler to help convey what is happening."

That included lowering cameras to play up the cars’ speed, and TV-friendly schedule changes.

4. In the US, F1 Let ESPN Broadcast for Free

After a good stint at NBC, F1 created its own streaming product (see No. 1), but it let ESPN air races too.

That cost millions in rights fees, but now the sport is set up for greater windfalls.

5. F1 Improved its Racing Quality

Oh yeah, the product matters too.

Rule tweaks (and years of consistency) have brought racing teams closer together on the track, creating more exciting moments.

6. F1 Developed Storylines

“We need to build the rivalries,” an F1 exec told FT in 2016. Verstappen-Hamilton has become the sport’s Red Sox-Yankees or Federer-Nadal, a simple on-ramp for new fans.


6b. As a transcendent star with crossover appeal, Hamilton has also helped attract US sponsors and viewers.

If Netflix proved one thing, it’s that games don’t sell. People do.

7. F1 Benefitted From Growing Digital Communities

F1 deserves the least credit for this element, but it’s also one of the most significant. New US fans can now find each other faster than ever, and dive into a global supply of content once they’ve finished their Netflix binge...

Although Netflix helped, it's not the only reason for the increase in popularity. Point 6 I fully agree with. I think it's fair to call the RB response in the aftermath of Silverstone theatrical. It got people talking tho.

What do you punks think?

https://twitter.com/...9875290112?s=20

Edited by RekF1, 28 October 2021 - 13:41.


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#2 PlatenGlass

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Posted 28 October 2021 - 13:41

"only 20 events"

#3 Risil

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Posted 28 October 2021 - 13:45

I think that's definitely a good explanation of what Liberty's strategy was going into F1 (in fact, the headings sound a lot like one of their powerpoints). I think a lot is still work in progress (is the F1 calendar really "20 Superbowls" right now?) but they've definitely delivered on building their social media brand, marketing the sport's personalities, and supporting online communities. I suspect (no evidence!) that Liberty played a role behind the scenes in keeping Vettel and Alonso in F1 too.

 

Not sure about "F1 improved its racing quality" -- this is supposed to happen in 2022 and I'm a bit uneasy at any suggestion that the rule changes for 2021 that hindered Mercedes were part of a plan to drive ratings. It's also a bit funny trumpeting how Liberty has improved the racing through "rule tweaks and years of consistency" when Ross Brawn has been working on a radically different aerodynamic ruleset pretty much since he arrived. Like, one or the other, lads.

 

I'm not going to say F1 couldn't be better, but the new management have done quite a lot since they took over from Bernie and CVC and even someone as bored and jaded as me can see the benefits.



#4 Alfisti

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Posted 28 October 2021 - 13:45

Even if the improvement in the USA is only 1/3rd of what is being bandied about, goes to show how we were all right and bernie was such a stupid old man. Locking everyone out from content and viewing the web as a fad was just insane. 



#5 Otaku

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Posted 28 October 2021 - 13:48

5. F1 Improved its Racing Quality

 

 

Really?



#6 BerniesDad

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Posted 28 October 2021 - 13:50

So how does this square with the TV direction being so unspeakably bad (qv the 'cutting away from the action' thread) ?

Surely Liberty have $$ on this being as good as it can possibly be, not just showing the TV a picture of an advertising hoarding with a little bit of a car just disappearing out f shot?



#7 Afterburner

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Posted 28 October 2021 - 14:02

While browsing a sub-Reddit devoted to long-term investors yesterday (you know the one), I happened to notice something remarkable: of all the sports sub-Reddits, r/Formula1 was being shown as the second most popular sports sub-Reddit on the entire site, behind only the NBA, and ahead of EVERY football sub-Reddit (US or otherwise!). I am not on Reddit myself and have no idea what F1's level of engagement was on Reddit during the past few seasons, but I certainly never imagined it would be that popular! Whatever Liberty is doing, it's clearly working.

A potential common thread? The Michael Jordan documentary on Netflix.

#8 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 28 October 2021 - 14:34

Short version? It's like Succession. Everyone, by which I mean 'the right people', is talking about it but if you actually look at the data it's a very small tv show. 

 

1. F1 Embraced Social

 

 

What does this really mean though? Yeah they've got a great little YouTube channel but I'm assuming that's mostly people already tuned into F1? Maybe you watch the race highlights but don't have access to the full thing or use it as a taster? Also, it's one of those "massive growth!" stories that the reality is that you're starting from an impossibly low number so you can do all these claims of fastest growing sport and blah blah and ps social media metrics are bullshit anyways(but for some reason sponsors like them?)

2. F1 Turned Races Into Events


Are they more event-y? I mean, some promoters are just better at this period and maybe Liberty/FOM got out of the way more so things like Zandvoort could even happen and be as manic as it was. That doesn't do much for the "US Market" though. That said, I expect Miami to be a pretty 'marquee' race. 

3. F1 Made Telecasts More Welcoming


Eh, I dunno. I haven't noticed any difference? Like maybe it is filmed better but it still looks like F1 to me.

4. In the US, F1 Let ESPN Broadcast for Free

 

I don't think this matters. If your product is the same and your network is the same, the rights fee doesn't influence the audience. Now, if waiving that fee means you get off some podunk pirate broadcaster and onto something more mainstream that's progress. But F1 being on ESPN only takes back to like, the 90s or something? It needs to be on proper network.

 

And btw for people crowing about viewing figures, they're still pretty bad(even WITH the Netflix Effect)  but Austin got good numbers because it was broadcast on a big network, ABC. But even then the ratings were only good for "F1 in America" not by ABC sports levels.


5. F1 Improved its Racing Quality


Holy **** I definitely missed this, should I start watching the races?

6. F1 Developed Storylines

 

Eh what? What storylines? Or do you mean the manufactured ones? I've always worried anyone coming into F1 from Drive to Survive would...not recognize what they're watching.

6b. As a transcendent star with crossover appeal, Hamilton has also helped attract US sponsors and viewers.


.....has he? 

 

If he has it will be small numbers. Just like the Drive to Survive input. That said, they're 'important' viewers because it's celebs and media influencers and decision makers at sponsors and etc etc. DTS is probably pumping up the Paddock Club but not the grandstand. It's probably lighting up social too but that takes us to Point 1 and the whole chasing your tale phenomenon.

7. F1 Benefitted From Growing Digital Communities

 

I guess? This goes back to social media metrics. Twitter noise is just noise. Trending doesn't really do anything. 

 

 

 

 

America hasn't suddenly embraced European style road racing. The increase in viewers isn't that significant and I think Netflix has had very little do to do with it. But because of F1's weird insecurity they're obsessed with the 'credibility' that the Netflix hype gives them. 

 

I think the COTA attendance figures were a combination of not having a race for a few years, pent up COVID demand, the lack of Montreal(so Austin was the only race Americans were going to go to), and a close title battle. 

 

In his tweet analysis he points out F1 TV audiences halved over the last decade. That's the critical problem. That we're having 'good growth' from the bottom of the chart is like getting excited about economic recovery post-Covid. OF COURSE 2021 figures are better than 2020. I wasn't allowed to leave the house.

 

So we have Drive to Survive and the glorious saviour that is social, but how are we then getting those people into the sport. How are they going to watch it on TV affordably? How are they going to attend races affordably? After spunking all that money on a TV package or a race attendance what money do they have left for team merchandise or sponsor products? 

 

This is mostly metric fiddling. The TV audiences are still anemic and the racing is very poor. 

 

F1 is weird. Verstappen v Hamilton is considered this great title rivalry but three straight years of Hamilton and Rosberg trading tenths of a second in every single session of a race weekend in the same exact car was considered insanely boring.



#9 ANF

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Posted 28 October 2021 - 14:35

I think the covid pandemic may be part of the reason for the number of fans at COTA. It will be interesting to see what the attendance will be next year.



#10 sheSgoTthElooK

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Posted 28 October 2021 - 14:42

The American market is difficult. I mean soccer (football) isn't THAT popular there either. Is the sport boring? No, it isn't.

 

Great musicians never accomplished success in the US. Is their music garbage? No, the music isn't garbage. 

 

In general, yep, F1 was boring. Thank god, it recovered and I hope it stays like that. I welcome that it's more about the fans nowadays.



#11 Frank Tuesday

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Posted 28 October 2021 - 14:58

Holy **** I definitely missed this, should I start watching the races?


No.

#12 F1matt

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Posted 28 October 2021 - 15:05

It reads like a sponsored piece for Liberty. Although anything that gets the sport more attention has to be good. 



#13 red stick

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Posted 28 October 2021 - 15:12

I can only speak anecdotally, but locally, for years I've discussed F1 with the same three people.  Since DTS, at least three other people have become engaged, spoken of the Netflix show, and approach me to ask questions and talk about the races, including a NASCAR enthusiast who is thrilled that the races are televised early in the U.S. and end in about two hours.  A lot of people?  No.  But it's not nothing. 



#14 noikeee

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Posted 28 October 2021 - 19:43

Short version? It's like Succession. Everyone, by which I mean 'the right people', is talking about it but if you actually look at the data it's a very small tv show.



What does this really mean though? Yeah they've got a great little YouTube channel but I'm assuming that's mostly people already tuned into F1? Maybe you watch the race highlights but don't have access to the full thing or use it as a taster? Also, it's one of those "massive growth!" stories that the reality is that you're starting from an impossibly low number so you can do all these claims of fastest growing sport and blah blah and ps social media metrics are bullshit anyways(but for some reason sponsors like them?)

Are they more event-y? I mean, some promoters are just better at this period and maybe Liberty/FOM got out of the way more so things like Zandvoort could even happen and be as manic as it was. That doesn't do much for the "US Market" though. That said, I expect Miami to be a pretty 'marquee' race.



Eh, I dunno. I haven't noticed any difference? Like maybe it is filmed better but it still looks like F1 to me.



I don't think this matters. If your product is the same and your network is the same, the rights fee doesn't influence the audience. Now, if waiving that fee means you get off some podunk pirate broadcaster and onto something more mainstream that's progress. But F1 being on ESPN only takes back to like, the 90s or something? It needs to be on proper network.

And btw for people crowing about viewing figures, they're still pretty bad(even WITH the Netflix Effect) but Austin got good numbers because it was broadcast on a big network, ABC. But even then the ratings were only good for "F1 in America" not by ABC sports levels.




Holy **** I definitely missed this, should I start watching the races?

Eh what? What storylines? Or do you mean the manufactured ones? I've always worried anyone coming into F1 from Drive to Survive would...not recognize what they're watching.

.....has he?

If he has it will be small numbers. Just like the Drive to Survive input. That said, they're 'important' viewers because it's celebs and media influencers and decision makers at sponsors and etc etc. DTS is probably pumping up the Paddock Club but not the grandstand. It's probably lighting up social too but that takes us to Point 1 and the whole chasing your tale phenomenon.



I guess? This goes back to social media metrics. Twitter noise is just noise. Trending doesn't really do anything.




America hasn't suddenly embraced European style road racing. The increase in viewers isn't that significant and I think Netflix has had very little do to do with it. But because of F1's weird insecurity they're obsessed with the 'credibility' that the Netflix hype gives them.

I think the COTA attendance figures were a combination of not having a race for a few years, pent up COVID demand, the lack of Montreal(so Austin was the only race Americans were going to go to), and a close title battle.

In his tweet analysis he points out F1 TV audiences halved over the last decade. That's the critical problem. That we're having 'good growth' from the bottom of the chart is like getting excited about economic recovery post-Covid. OF COURSE 2021 figures are better than 2020. I wasn't allowed to leave the house.

So we have Drive to Survive and the glorious saviour that is social, but how are we then getting those people into the sport. How are they going to watch it on TV affordably? How are they going to attend races affordably? After spunking all that money on a TV package or a race attendance what money do they have left for team merchandise or sponsor products?

This is mostly metric fiddling. The TV audiences are still anemic and the racing is very poor.

F1 is weird. Verstappen v Hamilton is considered this great title rivalry but three straight years of Hamilton and Rosberg trading tenths of a second in every single session of a race weekend in the same exact car was considered insanely boring.

Well that's quite the jaded, incredibly negative take. I think I disagree with just about everything?

It's not just that they have a YouTube channel, it's that people post short clips and bits of content all over the place in every social network now (unlike before when FOM hunted it like hawks) and this tends to spiral even if it doesn't go full blown viral. My friends who didn't use to even follow F1 now have their Instagram and Facebook feeds bombarded with F1 stuff and routinely send me stuff.

Of course people don't suddenly turn off from F1 when they watch it after they've seen the Netflix series, not everyone will become genuine fans but you're making every Netflix viewer to be morons with an IQ of 5. The common people has the intelligence to realise things are a little dramatised, but now when they watch a race they know the faces behind the names, all the way down to the midfield, and are far more interested in their stories than when it was like, Fisichella passed Trulli for 6th, okay who the hell are these people, why should I care. That's the genius of DTS, it gave F1 a narrative that made non-super hard-core fans care about 6th places.

Of course 2 different teams fighting for the world championship is much, much more interesting than 2 teammates from a single team which totally dominates every race. There's more characters involved, it's Horner vs Wolff, it's the pit strategy of ones against the others, it's blue vs silver you get to choose your colour, it's the technical interest of who's got the better car for this track and who's doing better in the development race, it's how will their #2 teammates influence the race. This is dead obvious.

Of course being in free air TV will bring more eyes on the sport even if it's not one of the main popular channels.

Etc. Not everything about F1 and its trajectory in terms of popularity is super positive, but bloody hell that's quite the extreme opposite view.

Edited by noikeee, 28 October 2021 - 19:45.


#15 Rodaknee

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Posted 28 October 2021 - 19:45

<Snipped Disney version of F1>

 

Did you watch F1 before Bernie went?

 

BTW - I couldn't help but notice that boob and bums returned at the US GP.  The puritan's at Liberty removed the grid girls, but these popped up again

 

https://prodancechee...018/10/2-75.jpg



#16 Rodaknee

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Posted 28 October 2021 - 19:56

Slightly OT.  The Daily Torygraph believes NetFlix could have problems.

 

(paywall)

 

 

Inside Netflix’s midlife crisis: culture wars, claims of ‘humiliated’ staff, and... old sitcoms

From staff walkouts over Dave Chappelle's new special to sliding subscriptions, behind its glossy veneer, is the streaming giant in trouble?

 

https://www.telegrap...ims-humiliated/



#17 AustinF1

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Posted 28 October 2021 - 20:06

Something that seems to be lost in all the hoopla over the USGP crowd is that there were no Canadian GP, Mexican GP, Brazilian GP, or USGP in 2020, and no Canadian GP in 2021 --- so this was the first F1 GP in North OR South America since 2019. I do think F1 is gaining some ground in the US (not that I care if it does), but this crowd at COTA is not an accurate yardstick of that gain in popularity imho, even if you do believe COTA's nice, round, "estimated" numbers. It was the biggest crowd they've had at COTA, almost certainly, but that doesn't support the claims that it was the "biggest crowd in F1 history" that I'm seeing in some articles now. 2000 & 2001 Indy, 1995 Adelaide, and others would like a word with those authors.

Edited by AustinF1, 29 October 2021 - 16:28.


#18 PayasYouRace

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Posted 28 October 2021 - 20:25

I think the main lesson to take away from Liberty's take over is that it's caught up with the rest of the world. Bernie's method worked in the 1980s until the 2000s. Get all the content on a single source and keep it exclusive, and people will watch. That's not the case now. FOM has indeed embraced the new media of the world, getting itself into places that people come across new content. Get people talking about it on Twitter and more people will see it. Get people sharing on Facebook and more people will see it. Get people watching on Youtube and it'll appear on more people's front pages. Get on a streaming service and more people will see it.

 

It helps that the racing quality has been excellent this year compared to some years ago, but that's more serendipitous. Things should at least stay as good next year and hopefully get even better. In fact, a lot of discussion on here this year has shown that a lot of hardcore F1 fans have actually forgotten (or never knew) what close competitive racing is like, judging by their inability to cope with two closely matched teams at the front or not being able to predict the result of a GP after FP1. I assume these are who the OP is calling "punks".

 

 

Well that's quite the jaded, incredibly negative take.

 

It's almost like Ross wrote that post.  :lol:



#19 Fastcake

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Posted 28 October 2021 - 20:42

I share a similar scepticism to Ross, so I won't repeat his post. Apparently it will make this thread even more miserable.  :p 

 

2. F1 Turned Races Into Events

Liberty made its 20 race weekends into “20 Super Bowls." Young fans want more than just a race, they want festivals. And parties don’t detract from the action.

BTW, having only 20 events on the calendar really helps too. Barries to entry are real.
 

This one though, what does it even mean? We had all these promises of "20 Super Bowls" from Chase Carey in the past, and no one could quite explain what it meant or what they planned to do differently.

 

Now we seem to be declaring success based upon...? Is there any indication that the average Grand Prix is materially different to before?



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#20 maximilian

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Posted 28 October 2021 - 20:51

Absolutely Netflix.  I ran into some young  (American) people at a party a few weeks ago, and they started talking about F1 on Netflix, and how it got them hooked into watching the races to the point they don't miss a race now.



#21 ARTGP

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Posted 28 October 2021 - 20:54

I share a similar scepticism to Ross, so I won't repeat his post. Apparently it will make this thread even more miserable.  :p

 

This one though, what does it even mean? We had all these promises of "20 Super Bowls" from Chase Carey in the past, and no one could quite explain what it meant or what they planned to do differently.

 

Now we seem to be declaring success based upon...? Is there any indication that the average Grand Prix is materially different to before?

 

I think the way it's presented is. Pre-race shows never used to be so lengthy. Post-race interviews never used to be broadcast either in America.  If you were an American F1 fan 10-12 years ago, F1 didn't even come onto the TV until "8am EST" and the cars were launching from the grid at 8:05am. Post-race didn't even exist. They'd show the constructors and drivers points and kill the feed. The production has much more going on now.


Edited by ARTGP, 28 October 2021 - 20:56.


#22 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 28 October 2021 - 21:14

Well that's quite the jaded, incredibly negative take.


Good. We need more analysis than "OMG NETFLIX IS AMAZING AND F1 IS AMAZING AND!!!!". I've seen some incredibly lazy articles lately from 'experts'.
 
 
 

It's not just that they have a YouTube channel, it's that people post short clips and bits of content all over the place in every social network now (unlike before when FOM hunted it like hawks) and this tends to spiral even if it doesn't go full blown viral. My friends who didn't use to even follow F1 now have their Instagram and Facebook feeds bombarded with F1 stuff and routinely send me stuff.


Again, this is social media metrics. It's low friction. Turning that into something of value is reeeeeeeeally difficult.
 

Of course 2 different teams fighting for the world championship is much, much more interesting than 2 teammates from a single team which totally dominates every race. There's more characters involved, it's Horner vs Wolff, it's the pit strategy of ones against the others, it's blue vs silver you get to choose your colour, it's the technical interest of who's got the better car for this track and who's doing better in the development race, it's how will their #2 teammates influence the race. This is dead obvious.


Yeah I don't disagree that people respond to it differently, I just find it interesting. Rosberg Hamilton was the mostly tightly contested title fight since, what, Prost and Senna at McLaren? But somehow it was one of the worst eras ever and Vettel being quick in a Ferrari was 'better' even if he didn't spend much time in physical proximity to the Mercedes. Team A winning by 3 seconds over Team B at Race 1 and then the result is swapped for Race 2 is not an exciting prospect to me. Hamilton and Rosberg were glued to each other for years. Now, part of that problem is we were sitting around waiting for pitstops to see if one of them would do something so at least when you have different teams racing you know both cars are going for it.

And the drama of Hamilton vs Rosberg was definitely there, and the chaos of trying to keep that team functioning. Toto Wolff learning how to be an F1 boss on the job is way more interesting than him and Horner trading high school level insults and mindgames.

Of course being in free air TV will bring more eyes on the sport even if it's not one of the main popular channels.


It's not free to air in America, ESPN is a pay channel(which a lot of people have), ABC is the free-everyone-gets-it-even-if-you're-roomates-with-the-unabomber network. The point being that there were some one off bumps in figures(we'll see if they are maintained) which everyone is putting down to a Netflix reality show.

Etc. Not everything about F1 and its trajectory in terms of popularity is super positive, but bloody hell that's quite the extreme opposite view.


We've had such a sunshine pump of "omg isn't F1 so perfect right now" that someone needs to provide some context and some data(I really wish we had more data about ratings and Netflix and etc).

I think attitudes towards have F1 has changed and that's invaluable. But equally very hard to quantify and correlate. But if a company is willing to at least listen to it that's a huge gain, if before it was "ugh, so boring"

But even that's can be a problem disguised as a win, because your business case shouldn't be based on people being in a good mood but because you have something of value to offer them. Ideally even the most cynical anti-racing beancounter goes "yeah this is a damn good partnership let's keep doing it" rather than the typical thing of someone is jazzed about F1, does it for a few years, then leaves.



#23 Topsu

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Posted 28 October 2021 - 21:18

Absolutely Netflix.  I ran into some young  (American) people at a party a few weeks ago, and they started talking about F1 on Netflix, and how it got them hooked into watching the races to the point they don't miss a race now.

You hear these stories a lot on the internet, how completely new fans found F1 through Netflix, but to me they just sound so unbelievable that I almost cannot accept them at face value. "Yes, watching a few dozen episodes of this mediocre documentary made me and my entire family completely obsessed with this incredibly technical and complicated racing series!". These sound like stories that Liberty Media has paid people to tell on the internet. But since you have first hand epxperience, I have to believe it.

 

I honestly believe that the move to social media was key. I know it wasn't such a huge thing yet during the late Bernie-era, but nevertheless social media was almost completely neglected. F1 felt isolated in that sense. If you knew about it, you knew, but there wasn't really active marketing. Things couldn't look more different now, only a few years later. Teams and drivers are immediately accessible on the internet, and content, including video, keeps being posted almost 24/7 even when there is no on-track action, and then it goes into a flood during the race weekends. People can find a team they like on Drive to Survive, and immediately start learning more about them. Bernie never saw how big the potential was. Even now you see people underestimating and dismissing it all as just metrics and noise. Really? Social media is not detached from life, it is a part of it. And with that comes spending. The numbers do not lie.

 

Not sure if it's much a cause for celebration, but F1 is succesfully being modernized into the digital world. Personally I like that more people follow the sport, but naturally there is money to be made behind it all.

 

sWDSdpV.png


Edited by Topsu, 28 October 2021 - 21:22.


#24 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 28 October 2021 - 21:24

Lol the numbers definitely lie. 

 

The problem is do the numbers *mean* anything. What is 100k Instagram likes worth? Vs 100k people signing up to Sky Sports F1. Or watching the races for free, or, whatever. Look at it another way, what is an e-petition worth? Vs....voting? 

 

Okay there's an F1 YouTube channel and the teams are doing great work(really they are). We're feeding a hunger that existed before but they weren't allowed to serve anything. It's a bit like having extra pre or post race. Does it materially *improve* the championship or its value? Everyone's damn horny for social but....does it work? 

 

I'm with you a bit on these anecdotes. I don't think anyone is lying but you have to wonder how many people this is actually happening to. You'd think the US TV audience was through the roof or something. It doesn't seem to be.

 

As AustinF1 pointed out we've had a lack of race capacity for a while now this is a correction. We'll have to see how we manage with Montreal, Brazil, Mexico, Austin, Miami, and Mystery Race Number 3. 

 

I like data man, if Austin and the other North American races keep having massive crowds then it's a real thing and well done them. But right now everyone is losing their **** over super murky Netflix/F1 PR. It reminds me of when people went wild because "Coca Cola was coming into F1 and are going to show F1 how to really do sports marketing" and we ended up with some energy drink on the endplates of a Lotus.



#25 noikeee

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Posted 28 October 2021 - 21:25

Again, this is social media metrics. It's low friction. Turning that into something of value is reeeeeeeeally difficult.


Really?

People are constantly being reminded of F1 through social media - > they turn on to watch the races more regularly -> more viewers means more sponsorship. Or even more sponsoring partnerships (or more lucrative partnerships) on the social media networks themselves.

Come on, it might be hard to quantify but it's dead obvious there's a benefit in value.

As for Lewis v Nico I thought it was the most boring era ever and I couldn't have cared less. It was obvious who the superior guy was there, and it was only a matter of, will the other guy get lucky enough to ever win it. The races (for the win) were absolutely awful, because there was very little strategy to give us the jeopardy of them losing places to one another. What we have now with wide open races between two stars is infinitely better, although obviously a product of chance and not something Liberty did.

#26 noriaki

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Posted 28 October 2021 - 21:30

Short version? It's like Succession. Everyone, by which I mean 'the right people', is talking about it but if you actually look at the data it's a very small tv show. 

 

 

 

 

 

What does this really mean though? Yeah they've got a great little YouTube channel but I'm assuming that's mostly people already tuned into F1? Maybe you watch the race highlights but don't have access to the full thing or use it as a taster? Also, it's one of those "massive growth!" stories that the reality is that you're starting from an impossibly low number so you can do all these claims of fastest growing sport and blah blah and ps social media metrics are bullshit anyways(but for some reason sponsors like them?)

 

---

 

In his tweet analysis he points out F1 TV audiences halved over the last decade. That's the critical problem. That we're having 'good growth' from the bottom of the chart is like getting excited about economic recovery post-Covid. OF COURSE 2021 figures are better than 2020. I wasn't allowed to leave the house.

 

So we have Drive to Survive and the glorious saviour that is social, but how are we then getting those people into the sport. How are they going to watch it on TV affordably? How are they going to attend races affordably? After spunking all that money on a TV package or a race attendance what money do they have left for team merchandise or sponsor products? 

 

 

What "data" are you even on about?

 

In my personal anecdotal experience, DtS has pretty much quadrupled the amount of fellow young people interested in the sport in my vicinity. Almost everybody who speaks about the show has similar experiences.

 

Ok many fans of the show may not be interested enough to show on the TV ratings but then again your view about TV ratings being the be-all and end-all is very outdated anyway. Social media impressions, youtube clip viewers, Instagram followers etc. are also audience for the sport - and as even you concede, sponsors and manufacturers who bring the money *do* care about that too. Those metrics have blown up. And that's the best thing Liberty has achieved.

 

edit - for the record I am somewhat involved in the marketing lower league sports team here in Europe for a few years now. Now, the money at stake is nothing compared to F1 so it's only partly relevant, but most of our sponsors are getting ever more interested about the social media reach of the team, the Youtube figures, instagram likes, tiktok followers etc etc. They don't only want traditional ad space at the arena and the TV broadcasts anymore, now they want to be visible on the social media of the team, instagram stories of the players, whatnot. (And these are mostly the same sponsors that wanted just that mere 10 years ago.) Sure it's difficult to quantify exactly what the value of that is compared to traditional media - but these days, if some salesman was to completely dismiss the value and importance of social media reach in words like you just did, it would be equivalent to shooting himself in the foot.


Edited by noriaki, 28 October 2021 - 21:41.


#27 noikeee

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Posted 28 October 2021 - 21:33

Let's put it this way.

I'm on my phone far too much of my time. I scroll through Instagram I see someone post a story from that one restaurant I like and had forgotten about, with a photo of an exciting meal. I am now much more likely to next week go choose that restaurant over the other one I also like but haven't heard much of lately.

This is why F1 being shoved upon everyone's eyeballs on their feeds on every app network anything, at any possible second, works. Because otherwise we just kinda forget about it and pick other forms of entertainment instead.

I am a huge fan of rallying but I forget about events all the time, because I don't follow much rallying stuff and it's not that much on the media. Were things a little different and were they more active online, I might end up spending more of my entertainment hours watching WRC and less watching F1. There's a finite number of hours in my day I can watch entertainment. If I watch rallying I might skip F1. If I watch that TV show I might skip F1. Etc. Everything's fighting for my attention and I need to be kept reminded of what's fun about that one entertainment option.

Edited by noikeee, 28 October 2021 - 21:35.


#28 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 28 October 2021 - 21:34

TV audience ratings are the only reliable metric we have. People claiming x-people are watching F1 via Netflix because a friend told them, just doesn't hold water. 

 

There are wild claims about the growth and popularity of F1 that need to be verified. F1 and the teams are telling us everything is the best it's ever been and blah blah. Of course they would. But we need to see the numbers to get context before we trot out another lazy analysis of how influential a Netflix series is. Which Netflix will absolutely be promoting the hell out of. 

 

Don't buy the PR, is what I'm saying. Verify it.



#29 Fastcake

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Posted 28 October 2021 - 21:39

I think the way it's presented is. Pre-race shows never used to be so lengthy. Post-race interviews never used to be broadcast either in America.  If you were an American F1 fan 10-12 years ago, F1 didn't even come onto the TV until "8am EST" and the cars were launching from the grid at 8:05am. Post-race didn't even exist. They'd show the constructors and drivers points and kill the feed. The production has much more going on now.

But America just gets the Sky Sports footage right? That's not even directly to do with Liberty really. Any US broadcaster could have done that in the past if there was a desire for a bigger US broadcast, just as lots of English language channels used to buy the British commentary instead of using their own.



#30 noikeee

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Posted 28 October 2021 - 21:41

TV audience ratings are the only reliable metric we have. People claiming x-people are watching F1 via Netflix because a friend told them, just doesn't hold water.

There are wild claims about the growth and popularity of F1 that need to be verified. F1 and the teams are telling us everything is the best it's ever been and blah blah. Of course they would. But we need to see the numbers to get context before we trot out another lazy analysis of how influential a Netflix series is. Which Netflix will absolutely be promoting the hell out of.

Don't buy the PR, is what I'm saying. Verify it.

Fine. Perfectly reasonable point.

But do we run the TV viewership numbers by comparison to numbers from years past, or by comparison to what the numbers would potentially be like now if there was no online buzz?

Obviously this later metric is a fictional stat that doesn't exist. But I'm willing to bet on an alternate universe where Bernie is still in charge, F1 in 2021 is tanking and well on its way to obscurity and an increasingly rare niche interest, WRC style.

Edited by noikeee, 28 October 2021 - 21:42.


#31 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 28 October 2021 - 21:52

I think F1 is still the biggest form of motorsport, even with it's weaker TV deal(ie the decline to 2016). So there was a claim it dropped by 50%, which we can absolutely put on pay tv deals. Social media isn't going to fix that.

 

But how much has it bounced back since then? If it's up to 75% would it be even higher than 100% with free to air broadcasts? And what do we put it down to. The rise of Max Verstappen and Alonso/Sainz and various French drivers? Championship battles? Social? Netflix? It's hard to figure out where the growth comes from. This is the thing you can never prove because we can't live in alternate realities so if the TV deals hadn't changed since 2008 maybe there wouldn't have been that much gain from non-TV stuff because the audience would already be at saturation point and you're just adding marginal viewers to an already huge audience?

 

The weak spot is still that F1 is hidden behind massive inaccessible paywalls(it can be really expensive for young fans). Which Drive to Survive is doing is a work around of people discovering F1 on accident on free to air and then becoming viewers. It's a solution to the "where are the new fans going to come from?" dilemma of pay TV deals. Putting it on the most mainstream streaming network is fixes that problem somewhat. Thank god this wasn't an AppleTV production. But how many fans is it creating? How many fans is social media freedom creating? I don't know that anyone can say conclusively. I'm sure someone can but that kind of data isn't released to the public. We might find out DTS is actually realy small. Or it's absolutely huge in America but it's not being reflected in US TV habits because people aren't then watching the races.

There was an article in The Times(London) lifestyle section about Drive to Survive today. I'm not entirely sure why, it's not British Grand Prix weekend or anything. I assume it's related to the general coverage of it as a result of the USGP. You saw a lot of Netflix F1 stories/interviews/driver answers over the last 2 weeks for some reason. It was typical "omg I like Daniel Ricciardo" stuff.


Edited by Ross Stonefeld, 28 October 2021 - 21:53.


#32 Topsu

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Posted 28 October 2021 - 21:56

What is the gist of your argument, Ross? Is is that F1 embracing Netflix and social media didn't actually have an effect on its popularity? Or that the effect has been overblown and the hype is feeding itself? Do you think DtS and Twitter activity is the right move for F1?



#33 ARTGP

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Posted 28 October 2021 - 22:03

But America just gets the Sky Sports footage right? That's not even directly to do with Liberty really. Any US broadcaster could have done that in the past if there was a desire for a bigger US broadcast, just as lots of English language channels used to buy the British commentary instead of using their own.

 

Right, but the premise of this thread is how F1 is blowing up in America.  Whoever's fault it is, that the broadcast last a bit longer, doesn't change the effect. 



#34 Topsu

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Posted 28 October 2021 - 22:04

Also, it is a possibility that some people get into F1, but never actually watch the action live. Pre- and post-race shows are free, and highlights and results get posted online almost without delay, with teams having live updates on Twitter during racing. For some it can be enough. If someone doesn't watch the races and could never even show up in TV ratings, are they still considered a fan?



#35 ARTGP

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Posted 28 October 2021 - 22:05

 

sWDSdpV.png

 

Not directed at you, but only mocking the image here.  We have got to stop rewarding manipulation of the human brain for profit....*Big sigh*

 

We don't need fanatics, or obsession with material possessions...and brands that don't really care about our well being should definitely not be religions...


Edited by ARTGP, 28 October 2021 - 22:12.


#36 nivoglibina

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Posted 28 October 2021 - 22:07

At the start of the pandemic, during lockdown, F1 was one of the few sports still fully functioning. That might have helped too.



#37 noikeee

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Posted 28 October 2021 - 22:15

Also, it is a possibility that some people get into F1, but never actually watch the action live. Pre- and post-race shows are free, and highlights and results get posted online almost without delay, with teams having live updates on Twitter during racing. For some it can be enough. If someone doesn't watch the races and could never even show up in TV ratings, are they still considered a fan?


Depends. For the purpose of this conversation, what matters is do they still consume some sponsorship? I think so, so yes.

#38 RekF1

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Posted 28 October 2021 - 23:39

I think F1 is still the biggest form of motorsport, even with it's weaker TV deal(ie the decline to 2016). So there was a claim it dropped by 50%, which we can absolutely put on pay tv deals. Social media isn't going to fix that.
 
But how much has it bounced back since then? If it's up to 75% would it be even higher than 100% with free to air broadcasts? And what do we put it down to. The rise of Max Verstappen and Alonso/Sainz and various French drivers? Championship battles? Social? Netflix? It's hard to figure out where the growth comes from. This is the thing you can never prove because we can't live in alternate realities so if the TV deals hadn't changed since 2008 maybe there wouldn't have been that much gain from non-TV stuff because the audience would already be at saturation point and you're just adding marginal viewers to an already huge audience?
 
The weak spot is still that F1 is hidden behind massive inaccessible paywalls(it can be really expensive for young fans). Which Drive to Survive is doing is a work around of people discovering F1 on accident on free to air and then becoming viewers. It's a solution to the "where are the new fans going to come from?" dilemma of pay TV deals. Putting it on the most mainstream streaming network is fixes that problem somewhat. Thank god this wasn't an AppleTV production. But how many fans is it creating? How many fans is social media freedom creating? I don't know that anyone can say conclusively. I'm sure someone can but that kind of data isn't released to the public. We might find out DTS is actually realy small. Or it's absolutely huge in America but it's not being reflected in US TV habits because people aren't then watching the races.
There was an article in The Times(London) lifestyle section about Drive to Survive today. I'm not entirely sure why, it's not British Grand Prix weekend or anything. I assume it's related to the general coverage of it as a result of the USGP. You saw a lot of Netflix F1 stories/interviews/driver answers over the last 2 weeks for some reason. It was typical "omg I like Daniel Ricciardo" stuff.


I agree with you on certain things. Mainly when it's taken at face value that 2014, 2016-2018 were boring makes no sense.

The increased numbers could be due to any factor, or all of them combined. Correlation does not equal causation.

You do sound proper grumpy tho.

#39 Requiem84

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Posted 29 October 2021 - 07:07

TV audience ratings are the only reliable metric we have. People claiming x-people are watching F1 via Netflix because a friend told them, just doesn't hold water.

There are wild claims about the growth and popularity of F1 that need to be verified. F1 and the teams are telling us everything is the best it's ever been and blah blah. Of course they would. But we need to see the numbers to get context before we trot out another lazy analysis of how influential a Netflix series is. Which Netflix will absolutely be promoting the hell out of.

Don't buy the PR, is what I'm saying. Verify it.


You’re living in the middle ages still I’m afraid.

Social media metrics are extremely valuable. Generation Z typically does not even watch regular TV, so their engagement cannot really be understood from TV figures.

Bernie, is this you?

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#40 BerniesDad

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Posted 29 October 2021 - 07:14

Quote

<snip>

From staff walkouts over Dave Chappelle's new special to sliding subscriptions, behind its glossy veneer, is the streaming giant in trouble?

 

I read this as "the steaming giant" .. but in fairness, I still recognised that as a description of Netflix!



#41 Myrvold

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Posted 29 October 2021 - 07:18

I think the work they do on the official YT channel is just as responsible for this. There's been a steady rise in numbers in Norway during the last couple of years. Even here the broadcasters talk about the "Netflix effect". However, from the ones I speak to, it feels like the "Netflix effect" is that it is more "acceptable" to talk about being interested in F1. As motorsport in general has been viewed as something of a "bad" thing in Norway, people don't talk about it.

 

After Netflix there are more talk about it, more of it in media, more celebrities that admits to being F1 fans. However, none of the celebs are new fans, very few that I speak to started watching due to Netflix. The new fans got hooked by the YouTube stuff. Netflix seemingly "just" works as a nice talking point. It's easier to start an F1 conversation with something (made up) from DtS, than the last Race Highlights video on YouTube.



#42 Requiem84

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Posted 29 October 2021 - 07:27

At a recent drink at work a girl was telling me that her dad always watched F1 and she thought it was utterly boring until Drive to Survive.

She now even became a ‘F1 snob’, because her friends also occassionally talk about F1, ‘but she can’t stand people who watch F1 and don’t understand terms like ‘apex’. Haha!

She’s 25. Another junior colleague of 22 also got engaged because of DTS.

It’s real. It’s working.

#43 Stephane

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Posted 29 October 2021 - 08:11

The product is now so much more than the 20*90mknutes of racing.

How many people watch the actual races live is not that important anymore.
Those social media are not there to promote the races, they arevthe profuct themeselves.

#44 Dipster

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Posted 29 October 2021 - 08:15

I have not read the whole thread but want to say that, if what I see on UK Channel 4 is the presentation produced by F1 themselves, I find it very brash and juvenile. The music is awful and too loud and the graphics disappointing.

 

I put up with it to see the racing at zero cost.



#45 Requiem84

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Posted 29 October 2021 - 08:22

I have not read the whole thread but want to say that, if what I see on UK Channel 4 is the presentation produced by F1 themselves, I find it very brash and juvenile. The music is awful and too loud and the graphics disappointing.

 

I put up with it to see the racing at zero cost.

 

On the one hand we have fans like the majority on this board. F1 fans for 5-10-15-20-25 years and we are just into the racing itself. 

 

But the second layer F1 has gotten thanks to Liberty is beyond being a sport. It's a narrative, a story line, it's about characters and (fake :() rivalries. It's much easier for non-fans to connect to driver characters and 'pick your favorite'. If you became a fan of a certain person, suddenly the sport itself is more interesting to follow and to engage with. 

 

And I think Liberty should be applauded for that, they brought the characters of the sport alive for the broader audience. But for us 'die hard fans' it will feel rather forced, fake and taking away the focus of the thing that matters for us the most, the racing itself. 



#46 BertoC

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Posted 29 October 2021 - 09:15

Coincidence or not, after Liberty took over and Netflix aired their show, suddenly I'm surrounded by a lot more people that watch and discuss F1. They are new fans and not that knowledgeable about what the sport was pre 2016 or so, but it's actually quite refreshing to be able to speak in person with people about F1 and I always look forward to mondays to discuss the race like people here usually do with football.



#47 absinthedude

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Posted 29 October 2021 - 09:58

A few observations.

 

I haven't seen the Netfiix thing but from what I've read it sounds unbearably childish. However, my biggest worry is that it "bigs up" and fictionalises these rivalries...and people enticed to watch races from this will think "that's what F1 is like". So what's next? Drivers and team owners wheeled onto the stage to trash talk?  That said, it certainly seems to have helped raise awareness of F1, and these style of shows are always walking a fine line between sensationalising and informing. Without actually watching it, I can't authoritatively comment. But the show is not without fears from my perspective. 

 

Many people my age do underestimate social media and how important followings on platforms such as Instagram can be. They help spread the word. But again, if the content doesn't actually match the product....will people be disappointed? Or is Liberty's plan to alter the product to match the hype? 

 

"only 20 races" worries me. That's already too many. More races is not necessarily better. 

 

But, it does appear that despite some mistakes, Liberty has achieved growing the f1 audience in the USA. If only they could halt the decline in the traditional main markets...



#48 Ali623

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Posted 29 October 2021 - 10:01

 

 

Young fans want more than just a race, they want festivals.

 

Not according to the latest Global Fan Survey...



#49 jjcale

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Posted 29 October 2021 - 13:00

TV audience ratings are the only reliable metric we have. People claiming x-people are watching F1 via Netflix because a friend told them, just doesn't hold water. 

 

There are wild claims about the growth and popularity of F1 that need to be verified. F1 and the teams are telling us everything is the best it's ever been and blah blah. Of course they would. But we need to see the numbers to get context before we trot out another lazy analysis of how influential a Netflix series is. Which Netflix will absolutely be promoting the hell out of. 

 

Don't buy the PR, is what I'm saying. Verify it.

 

This ....And are they making more money or not? 



#50 jjcale

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Posted 29 October 2021 - 13:03

A few observations.

 

I haven't seen the Netfiix thing but from what I've read it sounds unbearably childish. However, my biggest worry is that it "bigs up" and fictionalises these rivalries...and people enticed to watch races from this will think "that's what F1 is like". So what's next? Drivers and team owners wheeled onto the stage to trash talk?  That said, it certainly seems to have helped raise awareness of F1, and these style of shows are always walking a fine line between sensationalising and informing. Without actually watching it, I can't authoritatively comment. But the show is not without fears from my perspective. 

 

Many people my age do underestimate social media and how important followings on platforms such as Instagram can be. They help spread the word. But again, if the content doesn't actually match the product....will people be disappointed? Or is Liberty's plan to alter the product to match the hype? 

 

"only 20 races" worries me. That's already too many. More races is not necessarily better. 

 

But, it does appear that despite some mistakes, Liberty has achieved growing the f1 audience in the USA. If only they could halt the decline in the traditional main markets...

 

There is actually a lot of value in it for Liberty (in terms of the perceived market value of F1 as a brand and as an organisation) if they rejuvenate their audience and diversify it geographically ... even if they dont add to the numbers.... so they may actually not mind the bit in bold too much.