Here in The Garage, we’ve been big supporters of the gang behind the stellar YouTube channel /DRIVE since I met up with a bunch of the guys at IMPA Test Days way back in 2007. Back then, we were all considered the new kids of automotive media and were the first batch of webbies to be accepted as members. Since then, we’ve all had life changes, but have continued working in automotive media to fulfill our passion for automobiles, with varying levels of success.
J.F. Musial, Mike Spinelli and their crew have gone on to create some of the best automotive video content the world has ever seen, across a variety of outlets, from YouTube up front, to behind the scenes for a few auto manufacturers. The team’s latest project, /DRIVE not only provides stunning visuals and commentary, but has generated some staggering statistics. In just two years, /DRIVE has amassed a staggering 1,146,724 subscribers and their videos have been viewed 193,522,560 times.
The problem is, that the project simply is not paying the bills. To grasp by how much it isn’t paying, check out Chris Harris’ rant over on PistonHeads.
Anyone who works in automotive media knows that it is tough to turn decent eyeball counts into dollars, but this has to be the most extreme example to date. Close to 200 MILLION views in two years, and the project doesn’t feed the beast needed to make it happen. It is simply insane.
Anyhoo, the boys will keep doing what they do and try a new business model, one that combines a level of awesome free content, while offering a subscription service that offers more in depth content for $3.99 a month (forty bucks a year if you pre-pay), along with their recent agreement with NBC, which sadly does not air their content in Canada.
Check out today’s release, in which J.F. explains how the new service will work.