Long-dormant YouTube car channel The Drive is coming back to “take you to places you’ve never been”

By 03/01/2024
Long-dormant YouTube car channel The Drive is coming back to “take you to places you’ve never been”

A classic YouTube car channel is shifting back into high gear. On February 29, The Drive uploaded its first new video in more than two years and pledged to launch several new programs related to automotive culture.

The Drive, originally known as /DRIVE, was one of the success stories from the YouTube Original Channels Initiative, a $100 million investment in premium programming that kicked off in 2012. With its blend of editorial content and high-quality videos, The Drive became a hit, picking up nearly two million subscribers and (eventually) more than 470 million views.

Things changed in 2016, when Time Inc. (now part of Warner Bros. Discovery) acquired /DRIVE and several other YouTube-based car properties, which it merged with its in-house automotive brands. As The Drive editor-in-chief Kyle Cheromcha explained in a recent YouTube video, Time Inc. struggled to understand the properties it has bought. “They had this half-baked scheme to turn the brand into a digital car magazine and pretty much zero interest in YouTube,” he said. The car channels Time Inc. had picked up soon went on hiatus.

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Now, The Drive is back. In his YouTube update and a more thorough update on The Drive’s website, Cheromcha updated viewers on the brand’s roller-coaster history before pledging to release more of the slickly-produced car videos that thrived on YouTube a decade ago. “One of the original car channels is here again,” he said, “with the same mission to celebrate the culture of cars and take you to places you’ve never been.”

One of the first new shows that will hit The Drive is a documentary series called Carisma, which will be led by director and cinematographer Tom Gorelik. It seems as if The Drive is eager to return to the formula it used to spin YouTube gold, and Cheromcha is perfectly content with that plan. “At the end of the day,” he said, “it’s going to be about how much we all love cars, just like it’s always been.”

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