Formula 1 has registered an increase in audience figures across both TV and digital platforms compared to the previous year, becoming one of the fastest growing sports brand on social media platforms.
A lot has changed after the commercial rights of the world’s most successful motorsport competition went to Liberty Media in January 2017. Last season was the first under the leadership of US-based media, communications, and entertainment, who took the charge of developing the sport and attract new audiences.
Formula 1 has also reported 1.4 billion cumulative TV audience in top 20 markets (based on ranking of TV audience) including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, UK and USA. The figure shows an increase of 6.2% compared to 2016, F1’s official website has reported.
The strongest top four growth markets include Italy (+19.1%), Brazil (+13.4%), the UK (+3.9%) and Germany (+0.9%). Other significant increases were registered in China (+42.2%), Switzerland (+14.3%) and Denmark (+14.1%). Brazil is still the biggest TV market with more than 76 million viewers, despite a slight decrease (-1.8%) compared to 2016.
Cumulative viewing (live and non-live) of races in 2017 was around 603 million, with a 1% increase in the live audience and improvements in cumulative viewing for both free practice and qualifying sessions. 352.3 million unique viewers tuned had their TV set into F1 programming at least once – the first time since 2010 that there was not a decrease in this specific number.
The number of users of Formula 1’s social media platforms also grew significantly during 2017, with a total of 11.9 million followers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. This shows an increase of 54.9% as compared to 2016, making Formula 1 2017’s fastest growing sports brand on social media.
On Facebook, the minutes of video viewed were up over 1,600% compared to 2016, reaching more than 390 million. On Twitter too, video content was the best performing, with over 64 million views, up 165% year on year. Instagram followers almost doubled during 2017 (+93%), reaching 3.8 million.
With 124 million unique users of F1’s official website and app, there is an increase of 7.5% compared to 2016. Formula1.com users grew by almost the same percentage, while users of the app grew by 1.7%, but the number of sessions was up by 37.7%.
The top-performing three races in terms of number of unique users on both platforms were China (+35.6%), Singapore (+26.7%) and the USA (+19.8%).
“We are encouraged by the growth in audience numbers across linear and digital platforms during the 2017 season,” commented Sean Bratches, Managing Director, Commercial Operations at Formula 1.
“Central to our efforts last season was to improve the fan experience across our platforms and it is encouraging to see the engagement that fans around the world have with Formula 1 media. Our work continues as Formula 1 fans will see material changes in 2018 with respect to both incumbent experiences and the creation of new ones. It is a good time to be a Formula 1 fan.”