Correction: The original blog erroneously stated Tuesday, April 22nd for the town hall. The correct day is Wednesday, April 22nd. Apologies for the error.

Dear WildEarth Community,

Humanity continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic with social distancing, and almost half of us are under some form of stay-at-home strategy while the global death toll continues to climb. During these trying times, WildEarth offers an essential service to all of us stuck at home. Our daily LIVE safaris provide more and more families and individuals with a window into the wilderness and an opportunity to connect with nature, each other and ourselves.

In the past few weeks, many publications and channels have shared WildEarth and this opportunity to connect with nature during the pandemic with their readers and viewers around the world. You can see some of this press coverage here: staging211010.mystagingwebsite.com/press.

This need for virtual travel and the massive amount of press coverage has resulted in an unprecedented surge in our traffic.  Some highlights from the most recent stats:

  • Until the end of March, the US has always been our largest audience since we started with our broadcasts. Now, and despite US traffic having grown itself by 50% in the first week of April, South African viewership grew 15-fold in that time and, for the first time ever, knocked the US off the top spot. South African viewing is currently close to double that of viewing from the US.
  • Compared with March, our US and Canadian viewing numbers grew by over 50%, our UK and Australian viewership tripled, and South African viewership grew 15-fold.
  • We now receive 50 – 100 registrations for each Kids at Home sessions every day. 
  • We’ve received more requests to join the WildEarth Kids program in the first ten days of April as we usually get in a whole year.
  • Where before Kids sessions were mostly (but not only) done with US schools, more and more countries are joining in. South Africa has also taken the lead here by far, but we also see rapidly growing interest from, e.g. the UK and India as well as some requests from countries in the Middle East, East Asia and South America.
  • Each safari now generates four to five times as many views across the various platforms of YouTube, Facebook, Periscope/Twitter and Twitch, when compared to March. 
  • So far in April, we’ve seen 1.1 million unique viewers for our safaris on our YouTube channel alone. This is already well above double the number for the whole month of March. Also, this number only counts groups of people who watch on the same screen as one viewer. Therefore, as many people now watch with their children, the real number of different people who’ve watched our safaris in April so far will probably be closer to two million.
  • The average time people watch our safaris has not dropped in any significant manner, which means that our new viewers are enjoying our content as much as our pre-existing audience.

 

As WildEarth, we are of course pleased to see this growth in our audience but, more so, we are delighted to see that our LIVE safaris are providing so many more people around the world with a connection with nature at a time this is desperately needed. For this, we, especially, want to thank our crews who are currently in lockdown in Djuma and &Beyond Ngala to make sure we can continue to provide these while remaining in full compliance with both the letter and spirit of the current South African COVID-19 lockdown regulations.

Due to so much public support and the recent license of a TV series [Predator Bloodlines] from our archive WE can confirm that we carry on delivering daily safaris beyond the end of April and possibly even into June. Thank you all for the very generous support WE continue to receive from our community. WE are hopeful that we will soon secure more broadcast license agreements that will further support our ongoing daily safaris.

I will be conducting a townhall chat with WildEarth registered members at 18h00 CAT on Wednesday the 22nd of April. [noon EST, 9 AM PST, 17:00 BST, 16:00 GMT) This town hall will be held immediately after the end of the Sunset Safari. During this meeting, I will announce some exciting new developments and partnerships, go into more detail on WildEarth’s COVID-19 mitigation policies as well as make myself available to answer questions. You can be a part of this discussion if you are a registered member on the staging211010.mystagingwebsite.com website (this is free) and then navigate over to staging211010.mystagingwebsite.com/club/ to be a part of the town hall meeting.  You can register on our site by going to staging211010.mystagingwebsite.com and clicking on the ‘login/register’ menu button in the top right of the page.

I look forward to chatting with all of you on Wednesday!

Warm regards,

Graham Wallington