When Neil Armstrong became the first human to step onto the surface of the moon in July 1969, an estimated 500 million people worldwide watched the event. When Felix Baumgartner in a suit reminiscent of those worn by the Apollo astronauts, leapt from his Zenith capsule 24 miles above the Earth’s surface the audience was a mere 8 million. The difference was no broadcast channel was carrying the live footage.
Red Bull’s Stratos Channel on YouTube beat the previous record for a live YouTube broadcast by seven and a half million. The Channel has also racked up an astonishing 367 million views in total with three quarters of a million subscribers which should serve it well with YouTube’s latest search algorithm.
The event was significant because Baumgartner broke records for the highest jump and became the first man to break the sound barrier, but the way it was viewed was significant too. It has been true for years that you don’t need to be a broadcaster to broadcast, but this was a defining moment in demonstrating that event TV doesn’t need a conventional TV channel. Red Bull isn’t just the sponsor it’s the media owner and that’s a much more powerful position to be in. You can see the highlights in this 90 second round-up - courtesy of Red Bull.