I love using JomezProductions as a barometer for the measure of disc golf consumerism. Post production reigns supreme amongst disc golfers, and Jomez is the leader in disc golf post production. So it makes sense to use them for collecting data.
On the two televisions we have in the pro shop, we’re almost always playing Jomez or another post produced by someone like GK Pro, Central Coast, DGN or others. While I strive to make sure we’ve got 50/50 MPO and FPO on tv, the algorithm often takes me to Jomez.
In January of 2022 I counted all of the views from 2021 on Jomez’s channel. My basic breakdown was
- 48 million views
- 357,000 subs
- 224 videos with about 216,000 watching on average.
We all know that disc golf has been growing at a crazy rate. Would you believe me if I told you that Jomez viewership shrunk by a crazy amount in 2022?
- 37 million views ( ⬇️23%)
- 418,00 subscribers ( ⬆️15%)
- 229 videos (grew 4 videos) with about 165,000 watching on average (⬇️22%).
I even double checked some of the numbers from their 2021 videos. For the life of me I don’t get why the Top 10 throws from DGLO 2021 warrants a 1.6 million view count. But disc golf was clearly on the back burner in 2022 for viewing.
That’s the $64,000 question. Why did Jomez lose about a quarter of their viewership in 2022? It’s not like they produced fewer videos. I think that their quality of videos is about the same. More disc golfers entered the PDGA so that’s growing. We saw more disc golfers than ever before at Sabattus, and UDisc confirms that.
It matters a lot to Jomez Productions. They paid $500,000 for the rights to be the MPO lead card post production exclusive crew for 2 years. Suddenly they’re getting a lot less of that sweet YouTube money.
I don’t have a straight answer for you on why disc golf numbers are down. I think there’s a number of reasons that may have compounded the loss of viewership.
1. Live disc golf is getting better. I enjoy it immensely and while I watch post-produced 95% of the time, I’m more likely to not watch a round if I’ve already seen it live. I wonder if others feel that way. The USDGC is still off limits to Jomez, and was done by the Disc Golf Network in 2022. So it’s not losing views year after year, but I think them showing Winthrop Gold would be a great boost to their overall numbers. That would be 8 more competitive videos for them.
2. There was no Holy Shot in 2022. I mean just that video has nearly double the views of anything in 2022. When I think about shots of the year 2022, I think about Paul’s 69 footer at worlds and Val Mandujano’s throw from the corner on 17 at WACO. They’re both amazing, pressure filled shots that led to a win. But even together, they’re nothing like what Conrad achieved in 2021 with his Envy.
3. People want to see disc golf tournaments, the other videos are (in my opinion) stale and wholly uninteresting.
I’ll probably be in the minority on this, but I’m not watching any more island videos.
I get it, pros normally only bag premium plastic that’s overstable. Otherwise it goes sploosh. The first video was great, the other ones have been boring. I gave the FPO one a chance, but I didn’t enjoy it all that much. The Discraft Island video was a marketing attempt that got 166,000 views, so I guess it worked.
Putting videos are really hit and miss for me. I’d rather watch a GK Pro Skins match than a bunch of weird 50 footers.
I’ve watched the Approachable podcast, but it hasn’t been a must watch entertainment for me.
4. How much time do you have to devote to watching a full tournament? Assuming you’re watching R1F9 through FRB9, that’s 6 videos in a 3 round tournament. About 3.5 hours just to watch all the MPO. Clips on social media of the best shots are an even more condensed version and feature the best of the best in 10 min videos.
5. In 2021 we were still more wary of Covid. There was an increase in outdoor activities by 2.2% according to Outdoor Industry. That’s going to include disc golf and disc golfers, so a 2.2% decrease in viewership could be accounted for right there.
I did check to see if Paul McBeth videos did better than other videos. If Paul McBeth was in a Jomez video, the average jumped up to 233,111. That’s an increase of 41% any time there’s “McBeth” on a video title. This data includes his playing rounds and the couple of videos where he’s in Colombia or Guatemala spreading disc golf culture and courses. Those videos were all well below the Jomez Average (165,000) so they brought his actual average of competitive rounds down.
I think that Paul is still a main attraction, and a reason for folks to watch. That’s my personal opinion but it seems to be backed up with numerical data. He’s playing in meaningful events, and that’s what folks want to see.
I talked with my dad about it and he mentioned that Tiger had the same effect on golf. So I dug into those numbers as well, luckily Paulsen had written an article about the Tiger Effect and crunched the numbers for me.
Tiger was moving the needle in every single event he was in*, somewhere between 9% and 201% increase in viewership. As I talked about in a previous blog about why disc golf isn’t on television, that increase in viewership is what advertisers look for when they sponsor shows. For disc golf, right now Paul McBeth is driving viewership. He’s winning and playing in big tournaments. You’d be hard pressed not to call the current World Champion the best player in the game.
*One event Tiger Woods was in was delayed due to weather, that event had fewer viewers*
Recently an article from Ultiworld caught my attention, Fandom Survey: Paul McBeth vs Ricky Wysocki. It’s a long read, but it shows that Paul fans seem to dislike Ricky at a higher rate than Ricky fans dislike Paul.
I’m in the 10/10 camp where I respect and enjoy watching both of these guys play.
But I think it’s another way to look at the data about players' marketability. That’s the reason they get these million dollar contracts. They play well, advertise their manufacturer’s discs, and do a decent job with social media. Ricky is always available to fans on Twitter, where Paul is much more reserved on social media.
So I thought maybe I should count the Ricky views too. Otherwise I’m just a Paul McBeth fanboy. Then I thought, I’m already combing through the videos and finding viewer counts. Why don’t I just do all MPO players in all of the putting videos, McBeth foundation specials, practice rounds, and actual competitions? That way I can show who was shown on Jomez, how often, how many people watched them play, and if they were on average someone folks tuned in to watch.
I didn’t count Big Sexy Barri if they were just commentating, and I only chose to focus on MPO. FPO I’ll probably evaluate at the beginning of 2024 when they’ve had a full year of lead card coverage on Jomez.
Here’s a fantastic look at the Jomez 2022 videos data.
I’ve put the players in order by number of views, and the green highlights indicate that a player's average view count was above the Jomez average of 165,000 and they were in 5 or more videos. To me that means that people are more likely to watch a video if these highlighted players are on the card.
I know the big surprise here is that none of the Jomez commentary crew (Paul, Jerm, Nate) meets that threshold for the Jomez average. I’ll watch every practice round video from here until kingdom come with one, two, or all three of them. I find the relaxed atmosphere with competitive nature fun, and a great way for me to familiarize myself with the courses new changes from the previous year.
The other surprise is that Alden Harris averaged more viewers than Paul McBeth. I think that Prodigy has a lot of young stars right now, and they’re going to be tons of fun to watch in the future.
The next chart features how much time a company gets on Jomez. I consider Jomez to be the most effective form of advertising there is. You get to watch the best players throw their favorite discs that you can purchase (Often right here at SabattusDiscGolf.com).
Discraft and Innova make sense where they are. I consider them to be the 1 and 1a companies in disc golf right now. They have plenty of sponsored players, they sponsor a lot of tournaments so they get their feature players in the first round, it makes sense. Plus it doesn’t hurt to have 2 Innova sponsored and 1 Discraft sponsored pro doing the commentary and practice rounds.
I think you’re going to see a few changes next year, namely MVP growth with the addition of Simon, but Discmania staying where they are because Eagle could be back to full health.
Jomez had a down year in 2022. They produced more videos and had a lower view count than the previous year. But I still consider the quality, timeliness, and professional look of their work to be the gold standard in disc golf media.
They’ve already started a new series called Beyond Disc Golf with Simon Lizotte. Hopefully some of his YouTube charisma brings them viewers in 2023. I like that they’ve branched out into something new, and I’m going to check out the videos this weekend.
This blog took a long time to write but I think it offers an interesting glimpse into where disc golf is at. The amateur side of the sport is growing rapidly with an influx of players on courses and folks joining the PDGA. If you have any other questions about the data that you think I should query please leave a comment on Facebook or in the blog and I’ll try to find it.
Thanks for reading. I hope this blog brought you as much intrigue to read as it did for me to write!
May your discs miss all the trees,
Andrew Streeter #70397