It is the dream of every small business owner: build something up and then hope that some big corporation swoops in and buys it. That dream has come true for a couple of YouTube video channels that are the cream of the automotive video crop.
The media industry has been scrambling to figure out where the next viable source of revenue will come from, but there are those who have long believed that online video is the next big thing. There is a lot of video content available online, much of which is just ok and a handful of sources who are creating true world class automotive entertainment.
I met a group of guys from the New York City area close to a decade ago, who happened to be centered around the growing Jalopnik community. The group included infamous cross country record holder Alex Roy, Jalopnik editor Mike Spinelli and a crazy rich kid named Matt Farah who had a passion for doing crazy things in exotic cars. The most sane of the bunch was a video guy named JF Musial. Not long afterwards, Musial was involved in the launch of an online automotive news channel called Fast Lane Daily.
Musial went on to explore a number of different business models, which involved the creation of a killer YouTube channel called /Drive, which many consider to be one of the finest sources of automotive moving pictures ever created. Roy, Spinelli and Farah are all still involved, as hosts of their own shows.
Making video isn’t hard, but making great video is incredibly difficult, and so it was announced today that both FLD and /Drive have been acquired by Time Inc. to accompany their top notch automotive publication The Drive, which will now be known as The /Drive.
“We were the new kids playing with video, but to fulfill the original vision for /DRIVE we needed a partner like Time Inc. with experience and a sense of adventure,” says Musial. “I’m happy we’re able to continue telling authentic stories about cars and car culture while expanding our reach in new and exciting directions.”
This is great news for the entire motoring community, not just the media. Having such a big mainstream media powerhouse take notice of our community can only mean more growth of our hobby/sport and that means the creation of even more great content.