A record 1.7 million people live-streamed for free on YouTube Germany’s Formula 1 Eifel Grand Prix auto race on Oct. 11. across Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Sweden and Denmark. It marked the first time a F1 race had been streamed live on Google-owned YouTube.
F1, which is owned by Liberty Media, attributed the streaming increase in part to viewer interest in British driver Lewis Hamilton equaling Michael Schumacher’s record 91 F1 wins. About 31% of streamers were under the age of 25, while 68% were under 35. More than 33 % streamed on mobile phones, and 30% streamed on smart TVs.
“It’s clear to see that younger fans are more engaged with live streaming than ever before,” Adam Crothers, head of digital media rights at Formula 1, said in a statement.
Crothers said the partnership with YouTube affords viewers unable or unwilling to pay for F1 televised access with a means to engage with the sport. Indeed, F1 drivers for the first time appeared on Google Cameos — the app that enables public figures to record video responses to frequently asked questions in Google searches.
“It’s incredible to see how far Formula 1 has come on the platform in the past few years and continues to position us as one of the strongest sports brands on YouTube,” Crothers said.
The YouTube F1 channel has has generated 40 million viewers in the past 90 days, with 800 million views this year. The channel is one of the largest on YouTube, with a larger user base than any other sports brand, according to data from Shareablee (Jan 1 to Oct. 12, 2020).