Bernie Ecclestone has made a lot of money from running Formula 1 and selling the TV rights whilst closely controlling the imagery whether static or moving. So far he has resisted any move to social media, mainly because it doesn’t generate income. I’ve just read this article which discusses the subject and it really highlight as a shortsighted and narrow view in my opinion which almost seems to be like the band playing on whilst the ship is sinking.
TV audiences for Formula 1 are declining partly through the greed of Bernie Ecclestone taking the silver dollar from pay per view channels which just aren’t attracting the audiences and also reflecting general trends but they could be replaced through other channels which people are using. I often follow a race not just on TV but also via social media and the amount of traffic that way is immense, demonstrating an active audience which should be embraced, not punished if they transgress an old business model.
This isn’t just an F1 issue, however, it is reflective of the situation in many organisations who fear loss of control of messaging through social media – the reality is that it has already gone and not accepting that is a sure way to find it out the hard way when your customers get very active in ways which aren’t desired.
It may take time to find ways to fully monetise social media, and may involve channels which don’t yet exist but embracing it now to be ready for that is the beat way, even if it reduces income in the short term. But one thing I’m sure of, social media is here to stay, and I get more convinced as time goes by that Bernie Ecclestone is losing touch, somehow I don’t think he will be around as long as social media will be!