Formula 1 has announced that it is to stream the 2019 Mexican Grand Prix on Twitch in selected territories.
The weekend will air live and free on the streaming platform in Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden in addition to F1’s usual offering.
However, the World Feed will come with an additional layer in the form of interactivity and gaming elements. An influencer will “co-stream” each session, with German influencer PietSmiet getting in on the act in Germany, Switzerland, and Luxembourg.
In addition, F1 will ask fans to predict the performance of drivers during 10-minute segments which they say will provide an “interactive gaming element to the broadcast.”
Frank Arthofer, F1’s Director of Licencing said “Twitch has incredible reach, a unique creative spin on sports media coverage and an engaged digital audience; they are a perfect partner for us to be working with on this project.”
Farhan Ahmed, Twitch’s Strategic Partnerships Manager added “We’re thrilled to partner with Formula 1 to bring exciting motor racing content to our community in a way that’s unique, shared, and interactive.”
“It’s a pleasure to work with a partner who embraces our community experience, creating something truly exciting, enhanced through co-streaming and extensions.”
Formula 1 meets Voltage, sort of
Influencers? Tick. Live action? Tick. High-profile motor sport? Tick.
To regular readers that all sounds very familiar considering it was just under a year ago that Formula E announced their attempt to enter the influencer space in the form of Voltage.
Formula E entered a partnership with YouTube and GOAT Agency, with the likes of KSI appearing on Voltage from YouTube’s Space Station.
A trailblazer maybe, but Formula E axed Voltage after just six races (although there is some speculation making the rounds that Voltage may be returning for the upcoming season in a different format, we shall see).
The electric series clearly struggled to get the traction they were looking for with Voltage for a myriad of reasons, and made the decision to stop the experiment early on.
Considering Formula E’s Voltage failure, it makes sense for F1 to do a one-off experiment to begin with on Twitch, seeing what works with the possibility of expanding further into 2020.
It is the first time a major motor racing championship (outside of E-Sports) has streamed live on Twitch, although the geo-blocking in place will restrict the amount of people F1 can reach.
Twitch has made the waves in recent months from an F1 perspective with both Lando Norris and Max Verstappen regularly streaming on the platform.
Clearly F1 has recognised the obvious overlap and is now making in-roads into that area.
There is a good chance that Norris’ typical Twitch viewer does not consume traditional methods of television viewing, hence why F1 wants to experiment with live streaming on Twitch.
Influencers is less of an issue here for me than it was with Formula E: fans watching F1 on Twitch will have specifically chosen to watch it via that platform, whereas some fans watching FE’s Voltage on YouTube had no other choice of platform to watch it on.
Although YouTube is more popular than Twitch on the whole, the opposite is true from a live-streaming perspective, with Twitch outstripping YouTube massively, no doubt influencing F1’s decision making (and may also explain where Formula E went wrong with Voltage).
The move says a lot about F1’s and Twitch’s strategy moving forward. F1 wants a younger audience, Twitch wants to move beyond its roots.
Both brands are at cross-roads in their journey, which is why it is a perfect partnership for the two.