Not long ago, BMW’s main YouTube channel surpassed the 1,000,000 subscriber threshold. This milestone is commemorated by the Golden Button Award, which is sent to creators by YouTube. According to BMW, videos uploaded by the automaker to its channel have racked up 333,000,000 views to date, while users spent around 6,500,000 hours consuming content on the channel. Every 57 seconds, someone engages with a BMW YouTube video, either in the form of sharing, liking, or commenting their thoughts.
We say main channel because, if you’re going to follow BMW’s presence on the various social media platforms of the world in addition to places like YouTube, chances are you’re not simply subscribing to a single channel or following a single account. The reason is that BMW’s social media presence is heavily diversified between several channels. On YouTube alone, there are six major BMW channels; BMW, BMW M, BMW Group, BMW Group Classic, BMW Motorsport, and, of course, the BMW channel representing your national market, in our case, BMW USA. If you’re into the two-wheeled side of things, there’s also the BMW Motorrad channel and it’s various regional and national offshoots. There’s also a separate channel for Alpina, because the Buchloe-based tuner-turned-manufacturer is exactly that in Germany—it’s own independent automaker.
Channels representing other automakers may have more extensive followings on YouTube, but according to YouTube itself, BMW has repeatedly been rated, “the hottest auto brand on YouTube” by in-house experts at the Google-owned company. According to YouTube’s so-called experts, BMW’s #NextGen2020 videos were of particular merit, as they featured an, “entertaining mix of discussion panels, documentary reports, and new reveals of models and vehicle concepts [that] vividly showcased the innovative spirit and future-focused outlook of the company.”
It should also be noted that BMW does not gain followers in the same way other channels that aren’t associated with established brands might. In the case of some lucky creators, working hard to put out a steady stream of quality content on a timely basis is an integral part of the process, which ultimately results in a swift ascendence to a seven-digit subscriber count. For big brands things are a bit different, and the accumulation of followers occurs over a significantly longer period of time.
As of this writing, the only major automotive brands we found to have larger subscriber bases on YouTube were Ford, with over 2,000,000, and German rival Mercedes-Benz, with more than 1,500,000.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]