Some media folks from RedBull popped me an email asking me to publish some really interesting information about the Felix Baumgartner freefall from space and I immediately felt that the information would be of interest because a lot of us watched the jump, but we don’t know all the facts.
This is a press releases, so please bare with me:
At its peak, eight million concurrent viewers tuned into Red Bull Media House’s live, global digital broadcast of the historic Red Bull Stratos mission streamed through YouTube’s live player that delivered a total of 52 million views over the course of the event.
In the Red Bull Stratos mission, skydiver Felix Baumgartner flew to an altitude of 39,045 meters (128,100 feet) in a helium-filled balloon, and completed a record breaking jump for the ages from the edge of space, exactly 65 years after Chuck Yeager first broke the sound barrier flying in an experimental rocket-powered airplane. The 43-year-old Austrian also broke two other world records (highest freefall, highest manned balloon flight), leaving the one for the longest freefall to project mentor Col. Joe Kittinger.
Baumgartner landed safely with his parachute in the desert of New Mexico after jumping out of his space capsule at 39,045 meters (128,100 feet) and plunging back towards earth, hitting a maximum of speed of 1,342.8 km/h (833.9 mph or Mach 1.24) through the near vacuum of the stratosphere before being slowed by the atmosphere later during his 4:20 minute long freefall. In addition to the record breaking live stream broadcast, millions of people around the world watched his ascent and jump live via television broadcast partnerships established by the Red Bull Media House.
Building upon the success of the Red Bull Channel on YouTube, which boasts over 750,000 subscribers, the Red Bull Stratos project capitalized on the performance of and audience built through Red Bull Media House’s exclusive programming as a partner in YouTube’s original programming initiative. Just in the past seven days, Red Bull added 180,000 subscribers to its YouTube channel, gaining the most subscribers of any YouTube channel globally over the same period. The two global media companies leveraged their ability to drive tune-in marketing as well as live stream experiences.
“Our partnership with RBMH on the Red Bull Stratos Mission spoke to the core of our mutual DNA: Inspiring our users with unforgettable content,” said Claude Ruibal, Global Head of Sports, YouTube. “Thanks to our partnership, all of us at YouTube are celebrating the incredible achievements we have together accomplished in showing the amazing potential for live content on a global scale. Congratulations Felix and RBMH for taking all of us to new frontiers.”
This mission to the edge of space was an inspirational, scientific endeavor that has been in development for over five years, not only with regards to the science and technology necessary to take Felix safely to 128,100 feet, but also in how to document it. The Red Bull Media House assembled a group of expert consultants to develop complex and sophisticated high altitude and ground-based camera systems that were capable of not only surviving extreme high and low temperatures and remote locales, but also transmitted live broadcast signals to Mission Control.
Together with Riedel Communications, FlightLine Films and 3G Communications, the Red Bull Media House tested and developed a flying production studio capable of beaming back every moment of Felix’s history-making freefall from 24 miles above the earth. In total, there were more than 35 moving and still image cameras used to document the mission including two ground-based optical tracking systems which allowed live stream viewers to track Felix’s entire freefall from the moment he stepped off of his space capsule to when he deployed his parachute. Felix also had five POV cameras on his body that recorded his freefall experience moment by moment.
The YouTube live stream experience with digital encoding provided by Origin Digital enabled Red Bull Media House to deliver a six-hour broadcast to viewers around the world (3 hours live, 3 hours during pre launch hold). The Red Bull Stratos mission broadcast included:
- Narration from broadcasting legend, Robert Hager, who was a news correspondent for NBC News for over thirty years
- 3 hour live data feed that showed viewers exactly where Felix was in the sky, his rate of speed during the freefall, and how high above earth he was throughout the entire flight
- The ability to listen to the radio communications between Col. Joe Kittinger and Felix during the flight
- Live moving images broadcast from the launch site, the capsule, helicopter with Cineflex and two high altitude tracking systems in infrared and HD
- Live chat on www.redbullstratos.com
Red Bull Media House is a global media company that produces and distributes compelling sports, culture and lifestyle programming across multiple platforms. To date, nearly 350 million views have been generated from Red Bull content, making Red Bull Media House one of the top five content producers on YouTube in Sports globally.