Barcelona first club to surpass 10m YouTube subscribers

Catalan giants trail only the NBA in terms of sports properties on the video platform.

by Steven Impey

Barcelona first club to surpass 10m YouTube subscribers
  • Nou Camp’s digital lead Dídac Lee cites Barça Studios rollout as key to growth
  • Real Madrid the next best followed soccer club on YouTube with 5.92m

Barcelona have become the first club to surpass ten million subscribers on YouTube, the Spanish soccer giants have confirmed.

Since launching their own channel on the platform in 2006, the Catalan outfit’s videos have racked up more than 65 million viewing hours and will now receive a Diamond Creator Award from YouTube for reaching its subscriber milestone.

The only sports property out in front of Barcelona is the National Basketball Association (NBA), which boasts 14.7 million YouTube subscribers.

Barcelona became the first soccer club to reach five million subscribers in September 2018, and have since enjoyed rapid subscriber growth since, surpassing 7.2 million by the end of the 2018/19 campaign and then 9.7 million in June 2020 when La Liga returned post-lockdown.

Dídac Lee, the clubs digital lead, cited the work within the club’s dedicated Barça Studios content arm as a key to their growth on YouTube.

“On YouTube we are committed to reaching our fans through content designed and created specifically to feed the interests of this site’s audience, and by adapting formats to the channel’s specificities,” said Lee, who will also be speaking at the SportsPro Live 2020 virtual summit.

“This success reinforces a consolidated long-term strategy that has put us at the forefront with standards of excellence that we hope to maintain.”

Among one of the first soccer clubs with an official YouTube presence, Barcelona’s following surpasses their rivals by some margin; reigning La Liga champions Real Madrid are the next best with 5.92 million subscribers.

In addition to its domestic dominance, Barca also boast the most YouTube followers among soccer’s elite clubs across the US, Brazil, Indonesia and Mexico.

In Italy, Juventus lead the way with 2.88 million YouTube subscribers, with Paris Saint-Germain the top French club on the platform with 2.72 million.

Brazilian outfit Flamengo are the third-most followed club on the Google-owned platform with 5.55 million subscribers. Amid a broadcast rights dispute with Brazilian media giant Globo, the Rio de Janeiro outfit’s decision to offer free live match broadcasts on YouTube, amongst other social media platforms, has boosted that following.

English soccer clubs Liverpool (4.98 million), Manchester United (3.21 million), and Manchester City (2.72 million) are yet to reach the same heights as Barca – the same goes for Chelsea (2.1 million) and Arsenal (1.96 million).