Formula One boosts digital revenue

The Formula One motor-racing series has reported a 65 per cent increase in revenue from digital rights and services, but failed to make a profit from this sector as owners Liberty Media continue their drive to overhaul this side of the business.

The Forbes website, citing financial statements for Formula One Digital Media, said that in 2017 revenues rose by $3.9m (€3.39m) to $10m, but this only represented 0.6 per cent of F1’s total income.

Formula One said the strong revenue growth from sales of the official F1 app and the licensing of online ticketing and merchandise rights came despite the company’s primary focus being on planning future products and services, the “increasingly successful” development of its digital and social media channels, and the development of content and underlying technical platforms to support future growth opportunities.

However, costs rose 56.9 per cent to $11.3m excluding staff salaries, which are handled by a separate company.

Formula One’s digital activities had stagnated under the regime of former leader Bernie Ecclestone, so Liberty has since been keen to focus on this area, launching a new OTT platform, the new F1 app and an esports series since taking the helm in January 2017.