15// Why GTS is ‘Chasing Dreams’ Again
A Trailmix of news, quotes and ramblings about trail media
Off season is typically a quiet time for trail running news, but over the past few years January has become an exciting time in the calendar.
Alongside the announcements of pro trail runner’s contract deals and race calendars, over the past three years GTS has continually launched a new content series to get runners hyped on the upcoming racing season.
Lo and behold, they’re back again!
We cover the new series, innovations in the trail running media market and hope for podcasting.
Hope you enjoy,
‘Chasing Dreams’ is back! Golden Trail Series have once again produced a docu-series on the previous year’s season. Last year’s series was one of the best pieces of film to come out of trail running, picking up 10M unique viewers over the past year, and i am very glad its back.
The format is an exact replica of the Drive to Survive series - interviews on black backgrounds, portraits of a competitor filmed in their home country and editing for dramatic effect. I don’t mind that - better to start with a proven recipe and develop their own style from there. The 135,000 views after 3 days is a good indicator that it’s working.
The social posts were keen to state that it was ‘exclusively available on Golden Trail TV’, the video platform on their website. My first impression was that this was going to be one of THE focus’ for GTS this year - build their video platform through releasing content exclusives early and eventually hosting livestreams only on GTTV. Yet that thought was quick squashed when their social posts all led to YouTube where it was published at the same time as on GTTV. Maybe next year.
As mentioned last week, a strong focus for both GTS and UTMB this year will be developing their video strategies to increase the distribution and reputation of their races. Regardless of broadcast or streaming deals, they both will be focusing on balancing their video distribution through their owned platforms and YouTube for reach and to learn more about their audiences. (I’ll write about how UTMB are already developing this and what this suggests about their plans for video later this year).
Despite the hardships of the past year, and negative outlook for this year, the media industry is embracing change over clutching onto doing things like they’ve always been done. Throughout Reuter’s comprehensive annual Media Trends report, there was a thread of media brands big and small trialling new formats, business models and content plans in a bid to stay afloat. It was encouraging.
The same can be said of our industry - the likes of FreeTrail and TrailRunner are both trialling new content and formats, whether its the DNF podcast or TROY and seeing if it works. Both media outlets are at different ends of the spectrum, one more a ‘legacy’ publication, the other closer to a modern digital media company, but both are progressive in their attitude towards growth.
The classic dilemma in any endeavour is that if something is working there’s no need to change it, but you risk not planning for when it doesn’t. Or not knowing what might have been. We're still working out how to cover trail running as a sport, and it's all too tempting to fall into the trap of imitating the formats of other sports, since if it worked there, why not here? My hope is that we will view this period as one of opportunity. That as trail running attracts more creators, there will be more creativity, more experimentation, and more Hail Marys surrounding what covering trail running could be.
(If you’re going to read any ‘trend report’ this year, read the Reuters report, its all you need to read to know where media is heading)
The trail running podcast industry is showing signs of hope. The SWAP podcast by Megan and David Roche and Jonathan's For the Long Run sponsored the livestream of the Bandera 100K last week, demonstrating the financial viability of being a trail running creator. Finn from Singletrack also provided commentary on the event, highlighting the opportunities available to podcasters in our industry as livestreams become more common. Love to see it!
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