A few days ago, I was watching a replay of the 2004 Italian Grand Prix on YouTube. The race was long enough that the video needed to be broken into six parts. I was moving through the parts, minding my own business when suddenly I encountered this…
Seriously Youtube? Seriously, Formula One Management Group? What could you possibly be thinking? This race happened eight years ago, yet Formula 1 lawyers still won’t let me watch it. This constriction of online media is the exact reason, in my opinion, that Formula 1 is having trouble adopting younger fans.
You can see this problem in our ‘Formula 1’ section on the blog. Since FOM sweep through YouTube and continue to block videos we have alot of articles with dead multimedia associated. So yet another reason for me to gripe…
It seems that Formula One in general is continuously losing touch with the fans that are trying to support the sport. Ticket prices are higher than ever before, preventing fans to attend the races in person. Buying a Red Bull hoodie can cost over 150 dollars, and you can’t watch races online without paying more egregious fees. Meanwhile the FOM are wondering why people have decided to watch other sports?
Seriously?! Talk about shooting yourself in the foot by basically shoving new fans out the door, before they even get there.
In the last ten years, media had started to evolve into the digital format. Social media interaction have exploded. Users are demanding higher levels of engagement and interaction with content and the players involved. The fans want more. Yet here is Formula 1, going out of their way to block users from seeing the sport and making supporting it prohibitively expensive while complaining that they’re watching their user base decrease and remain older.
Well, no duh! If you go out of your way to block me from watching the races, why would I keep trying to watch it? Why would I advocate that other people watch it? People don’t watch as much on television. The internet is the new primary source of media consumption, and Formula One just seems to ignore it as if it doesn’t exist. I’m sure if a new person was searching on Formula 1, and got the blocker prompt that I did on Youtube, most would simply just search on something else and turn away.
In the modern era, how are you expected to teach new fans about the history of Formula 1 when the sport itself goes out of it way to make sure that young people can’t view it easily?(In an era where more young people don’t even find CARS to be as interesting we used to, this is a worry.)
Ironically I can watch full feeder series races like GP2, because the sport doesn’t market itself well and therefore is generally ignored by the sporting community. (Lucky for me? ) However unless I’m willing to pay for it, or pirate the feed illegally, I’m not allowed to watch the top flight of motorsport. I’m not even allowed to watch the recent race edit without logging into the Formula 1 website.
When I brought the situation to my friend David, (whose not even a Formula 1 fan) he instantly brought up the idea of how easy would it be to create an official channel on YouTube which showed replays of Grand Prix? It’s not like it wouldn’t be popular! FOM has to go out of it’s way to block users from uploading content already! If FOM offered content themselves, then it would make sense to ACTUALLY block people so you went to their channel instead! (It also counts as free advertising for related merchandise. which is probably worth much more than Youtube.)
Seriously FOM. This isn’t rocket science. Get your act together. Loosen up your wallets. Offer free online feeds. Offer new ways to entice engagement via online media. The money that you’ll gain finding new adopters into the sport will far supersede the money that you think that you’re losing through copyright infringements via Youtube. In a sport where racing teams are spending hundreds of millions of dollar to find tenth of a second, you’re just leaving money on the floor by being stingy and not letting people enjoy the experience.
Maybe I should just watch more IndyCar. They offer full race feeds on Youtube. I can never miss a race.