The second season of Formula One’s Netflix series Drive to Survive captured the attention of 1 million UK households. While this only accounts for 9.1% of UK households with a Netflix account, according to data from Digital-i, this feat was achieved in just 28 days since the second season dropped.

The docu-series has brought attention to the Formula One racing series. The first season premiered in 2019 with 10-episodes. What has captured the attention of Netflix viewers is the under the hood look into the world of Formula One.

The series, produced by British Production company Box to Box Films, gives viewers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the lives of drivers, following them through their race preparation. Viewers get to meet driver families and tour their homes. All of this sheds light on the human side of the sport that is all about the cars and their mechanics.

Exposure to F1 racing has increased exposure to the sport and increased interest amongst casual fans. While the docu-series is available to 158.3 million Netflix subscribers, this simply complements Formula One’s existing 471 million viewers. However, Netflix’s Drive to Survive, coupled with exposure through esports, has helped F1 grow its under 35 audience over the last couple of years.

As fans get a behind the scenes look at Formula One, fans are finding new heroes. While this has raised the interest in the racing series for casual fans, there’s still potential for more growth for F1.

While the numbers that have been seen in the UK are impressive, it is important to note that Netflix makes an impact geographically. The streaming giant’s largest market is the US, with 60.6 million subscribers, whereas the UK market only has 11.5 million homes subscribed.  When we look at the most popular Netflix documentaries in the UK, we see that Drive to Survive comes in at tenth place, with The Disappearance of Madeline McCann taking the lead. This makes sense, however, given that the topic of the Formula One docu-series is more niche than others in the top 10.

Neither Netflix nor Formula One have released viewership figures. All of the data comes from Digital-i’s proprietary measurement system used to analyze Netflix viewing.  This system is based on a sample of the audience and takes into account views from TV, PC, tablet, and smartphone, as well as recorded content that is viewed offline. More info here.

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