In 2023, with numerous franchises released globally of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and various social and linear spin-offs, the digital recap series, The Pit Stop, remained the most successful to emerge from the series. With Season 6 winner Bianca Del Rio as the host recapping both Season 15 and All Stars 8, The Pit Stop remained must-watch content and an integral part of the Drag Race audience experience; capitalizing on its continued evolution has only brought The Pit Stop to record heights. Our primary goal was to build on the continued success of the series, by not only aiming for record numbers in views, watch time, and other key metrics, but by also maintaining the enthusiasm and engagement from the fandom. We aimed to make Noon ET on Saturdays appointment viewing on the RuPaul’s Drag Race YouTube Channel. Utilizing past strategizes while also employing stunt-casting, as a well as a full return to in-studio guests post lock-down, would all be key tactics in accomplishing our objectives.
2023 truly was the year that The Pit Stop became synonymous with the viewing experience of Drag Race. Leveraging Bianca Del Rio’s millions of followers, coupled with social teases and lessons learned from past seasons brought The Pit Stop to record viewership, watch time and engagement and over-delivered in every metric. It also once again saw brand integration by bubly sparkling water, who doubled down on their investment in seeing the growth and strength of this digital series. We maintained top-notch booking, including previous Drag Race winners Raja, Monét X Change, Jaida Essence Hall, Jinkx Monsoon, Symone, and Alaska. We continued to match guests to specific episodes where their commentary would be most insightful, a feature of The Pit Stop that fans strongly and positively react to. The duration of the episodes also increased to roughly 30-minutes, increasing watch time, which was an important KPI for our organization. The audience enjoyed the lengthier episodes as it allowed the queens to provide more comedic commentary. We also employed cosmetic changes including a new set to distinguish each season and make each cycle of the series feel special.
So far, the Pit Stop has earned over 34 million views across Season 15 and All Stars 8! However, simply looking at the eye-popping numbers doesn’t do justice to what The Pit Stop continues to do for the Drag Race brand. A quick perusal of the comments will show how many fans look forward to the release of this series more than the actual television program and are waiting to watch as soon as it’s dropped. The implementation of new strategies, Bianca Del Rio’s popularity, and the overall advanced quality of content has made 2023 (Season 15 + All Stars 8) the most successful year to date of The Pit Stop in every regard.