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The Grand Tour was brought to us in November 2016 courtesy of Amazon Video. Episodes are released each Friday and the trio present from a different country each week. The show has become extremely popular and a week after its launch the accompanying website DriveTribe arrived.
Backed by a large marketing budget the website was unveiled to be a community focused site which aimed to blend content and users like no one in the sector had done before. The idea was to create a place where users could belong to groups, and within these groups there would be articles, discussions, and publishing options. The aim was for something in the middle of a forum, feed, and publisher. This is where the Tribe model came from, in which content is divided into hubs, communities, and category types.
Users can browse the different Tribes available and select which ones they want to belong to, based on their interests. Users can then post their own content within these tribes (photos, videos, reports), read other people’s content, and interact with others in the comment sections. This provides a real sense of community in each tribe and a place which allows users to express their views by allowing them to create and post their own content. These Tribes make the website distinctive.
The website contains three types of content: content from celebrities such as the presenting trio (Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May), content from professional writers, and content from users. This makes the content diverse and interesting and means users can feel really involved in the website.
One clear concern with so much content being published is how to separate the good from the bad. Content is vast and diverse across the tribes and is regulated by ‘Bumps’. If a user enjoys a post they can ‘Bump’ it to display their like for it. The more bumps, the more popular the post becomes and it will then appear higher up on feeds.
To view content on DriveTribe every user must register with the website. Once registered they can then sign in to access the Tribes. This distinguishes the website from its rivals, who do not have this requirement. From signing in, a user’s movements will then be continuously tracked. This data will then be used to grow content on each tribe, inputting relevant new content in places where they will gain the most views.
Ernesto Schmitt, the CEO of DriveTribe indicates that if the model works well ‘we absolutely intend to replicate the tribes model to other media categories’. He mentioned that food, fashion, music, and pets would be well suited to the model.
However, before this occurs DriveTribe must be successful and make money. Schmitt said ads will possibly be the solution in the future but that they are ‘never going to be disruptive, there’s never going to be display advertising’. This means future ads will be subtle and have seamless integration.
So, we will have to wait and see how successful DriveTribe becomes, with its unique idea or merging publishing and social media to create a community atmosphere. We are certainly fans of the site!