This year, how many people actually watched the drone racing? The Drone Racing League, a sizable drone entertainment company that broadcasts races live on television on big networks like NBC, released some surprising viewership statistics. Additionally, the viewership figures for FPV drone racing provide a fairly accurate forecast of the drone racing audience in 2023.
The 2022–23 DRL Algorand World Championship Season, which began in October 2022 with a live drone race in PayPal Park and recently had its season finale race in April 2023, is significantly responsible for the market statistics for drone racing. Based on the most recent DRL season, the following are some noteworthy statistics regarding the 2023 drone racing audience:
- DRL’s global footprint reached 320 million households globally in its 2022-2023 season (that metric refers to DRL’s international media distribution expansion).
- Race viewership increased to 260 million global digital views.
- DRL’s social followers rose to 12 million social fans.
- DRL’s social media channels generated an average of 3 million video views per day.
The massive growth experienced year over year may be more intriguing than the millions of individuals the Drone Racing League has impacted. Here are the DRL viewership statistics from 2021–2022, demonstrating how much larger this year became:
- That 320 million household global footprint is up roughly 30% from last year.
- The number of global race views is up 23% from last season.
- The 12 million social followers is up 45% from last year.
In addition to watching drone racing more frequently, more people are now participating in it. The DRL SIM, a realistic drone racing simulator that is accessible on PlayStation, Xbox, Steam, and Epic Games, is one of the games that DRL offers. Additionally, there is a game called Project Drone Galaxy where you may construct and fly a virtual drone (along with some adorable characters), as well as the Drone Racing Arcade game for iOS and Android mobile devices. According to DRL, the number of game downloads this year has tripled.
What is the market size for drone racing?
The value of the total, global drone market is reportedly $127 billion, though this is tough to anticipate and the figures can fluctuate depending on who you ask. Of course, drone racing only makes up a small portion of that market, which is dominated by corporate and commercial drones but also includes various consumer drones like camera drones.
The global racing drone market was estimated to be worth $798 million in 2022 by Polaris Market Research, a U.S.-based global market research and consulting firm. In ten years, they predict that the worldwide drone racing market may be worth more than $5 billion.
That would make the drone racing sector valued roughly equal to what investors would classify as a mid-cap firm, which is far from a household name like Apple or Disney but yet likely significant enough to be known to the general public. Given that the upscale home goods shop Williams-Sonoma has a market cap of just over $7 billion and the clothes brand Gap has a market cap of just under $3 billion, Polaris predicts that the combined drone racing sector would fall somewhere in the middle.
Additionally, it seems reasonable. Beyond straightforward DRL posts, TikTok has 13 billion total video views for drone material. Additionally, drone racing may benefit the entire drone business by exposing young people to STEM vocations. According to DRL, by 2030, there will be an 11% increase in the number of STEM employment nationwide. To put that into perspective, it should be noted that STEM employment are anticipated to grow 30% more quickly than those in the general labor market.