Clarkson, Hammond and May go digital

Former Top Gear hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May have joined the digital world with the launch of their own media platform for car lovers.

DriveTribe aims to become the digital home for motoring fans worldwide and is structured into different “tribes,” each with their own characteristics and personality. Each tribe will be hosted by stars, bloggers, writers and videographers, including Clarkson, Hammond and May, who will generate and curate their own content for fans.

Users sign up to the tribes that reflect their personal motoring interests, and can also create their own tribes.

Speaking to Variety, Hammond said: “We know we can do, and are doing, and always will do the high-production value long-form TV stuff. That’ll never change, that’s us at heart. But we are doing that, of course, in a world that has now allowed a whole raft of different ways for people to consume their media, not just sitting down and watching beautiful, delicious TV but also bite-sized chunks of media in whatever form many, many times a day, and obviously given our subject being motoring, which is incredibly broad and exciting, especially right now, we figured, well, it’s time to do this, it’s not been done, let’s do it, let’s do it first and let’s do it really, really well: pull the whole subject together for a whole bunch of people all over the world.”

Hammond added: “Bearing in mind that we are editorial-led people, we saw an opportunity. Because we know and love our subject, we are probably more aware than most of the breadth and the depth of it, the different passions that it ignites in different people in different ways, because we have been exposed to that for many years. And we figured now is the time when technology in the media is allowing us to pull the thing together in a whole new way, and then Ernesto came along and made all that possible.”

Hammond said that he, Clarkson and May would be interacting with DriveTribe users on a daily basis. “We are very excited just to get to grips with this thing. We can’t wait to see it,” he said. “It presents an opportunity to get to a whole lot of people about a subject about which we are incredibly passionate, occasionally knowledgeable, and often quite stupid. Everything we’ve learned about it means we have the opportunity to connect with people many times and in many different ways.”

The platform would be for everybody, he said, just as “Top Gear” appealed to all types of people, young and old, male and female. “It touches everybody – if all that ever happens is that your meals on wheels arrives in a car, or you hate them, they still impact upon your lives. We all speak car. We are all familiar with it in some way. That’s what makes it such a great subject for us as journalists.”

In a statement, Hammond said: “Gamers have got Twitch, travellers have got TripAdvisor and fashion fans have got, oh, something or other too. But people who are into cars have got nowhere. There’s no grand-scale online motoring community where people can meet and share video, comments, information and opinion. DriveTribe will change that. And then some.”

May said: “This is pure digital inclusivity. Some of the world’s most endangered tribes — Volvo enthusiasts, for example — will now have a voice as loud as everyone else’s.”

Clarkson said: “I didn’t understand DriveTribe until Richard Hammond said it was like YouPorn, only with cars.”

I’ve checked and DriveTribe is live and says it’s launching in Autumn 2016 – probably around the same time as the trio’s new Amazon series.

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