I just signed up to #DriveTribe – what is it? Essentially it’s social media for full-on petrolheads
Will this thing catch on? Will it work? Who knows? But if it does, this could very well end up being Clarkson, Hammond & May’s true legacy for the enthusiast community, possibly even moreso than Top Gear and The Grand Tour.
I mean think about it. If it grabs a large enough slice of this specialist audience, and with absolute automotive icons like Jeremy Clarkson involved, it probably will, and then steamrolls enough engagement, it could become the go-to social media feed for car and bike fans. And with enough compelling content on there, it could even takeover from dying publications.
It’s so telling that, despite The Grand Tour mostly following the Top Gear playbook, they haven’t gone down the route of trying to create supporting magazines and books – they’ve clearly also realised (as I’ve frequently discussed on this blog) that that is all old hat now.
So instead they can create a massive online arena of both mainstream and highly specialised automotive content – remember you can create these ‘Tribes’ about even the most obscure things like say, VW Door Handles etc. So where does that leave publications like RestoMod Monthly (if that even exists – I just made it up)?
I once thought only those very niche magazines could survive because who else would create that sort of content for online media feeds, ostensibly designed to serve mass audiences hence seeking generic content with demographically broad appeal? I may have been wrong.
The plan seems clear then. Build up DriveTribe, and when there’s enough of a massive number of sign-ups, eventually sell the whole thing for billions. And then let someone else figure out how to make huge amounts of money off it. It’ll probably change dramatically at that point, and we’ll all moan and complain, but we’ll all be addicted to it by then, and ultimately vociferous wailing will devolve into wet whimpering.
As the BBC let’s Top Gear die a natural death, and as the not-so-dynamic trio eventually get too creaky to get up to the antics and shenanigans expected of them, The Grand Tour will also pass quietly, and what might be left standing, and outlive them and us, could be DriveTribe.
So potentially an inspired and lucrative move by Clarkson and Co. Now the only question is how the rest of us (and I’ve signed up to it as Old Brown Car Journo, and put up a tribe for Motoring Middle East – please do go and join both!) – who are the actual content creators and aggregators – can ever hope to make any money off it.
And sadly that, as with most of the dwindling avenues left open to content creators these days, is not so clear. Not even vaguely discernible. Nonetheless. I’ll see you on there!
Another reason Why You Must NOT become a Car Journalist