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Streamers Papaplatte (left) and Reeze: They have been suspended together

Photo: YouTube / 7 vs. Wild

Web stars and outdoor enthusiasts filming themselves in the wilderness: Hardly any other web video format has been as popular in recent years as the first two seasons of "7 vs. Wild". This was also due to the fact that the survival show managed to create digital campfire moments and become a topic of conversation, from the schoolyard to the office kitchen. This was also made possible by the way it was published: New episodes of the series went online on YouTube, where thousands of users immediately commented on what was happening. With some distance, well-known streamers were able to watch and comment on the episodes through their channels, which attracted new audiences. And the participants themselves also published so-called reactions, in which they classified what was shown from their own perspective. It all seemed like a well-oiled click-collecting machine.

This year, however, on Wednesday, "7 vs. Wild" will only start on Google's video platform after a delay of a good month. Since the end of October, two episodes of "7 vs. Wild: Teams", the latest season, have been released every week on Amazon's ad-financed streaming portal Freevee, for which teams of two instead of lone wolves were suspended for the first time. According to the creators of the format, such a exploitation rights deal was necessary in order to be able to financially support the project, which this time is set on Canadian islands.

The shift towards Freevee did not go down well with fans at first: Numerous viewers commented online that they would wait until the season starts on YouTube. They justified this, for example, with the fact that there was supposedly too much advertising on Amazon's platform (in practice, the number and duration of interruptions is limited) or with the fact that Freevee viewers had to wait forever for reaction videos to the episodes. These are actually only now being published, based on the YouTube uploads.

More than 27 million streams to date

Nevertheless, »7 vs. Wild« on Freevee has not become a pipe dream. As an Amazon spokesperson told SPIEGEL, Freevee has already recorded over 27 million streams for the episodes of the season so far as Tuesday afternoon. This shows that the format is attracting a great deal of interest even in an unfamiliar environment. There are currently nine episodes online on Freevee, with the latest one just coming out Tuesday.

According to Amazon, the series has been consistently number one in the Freevee Top 31 in Germany since the release of the first episode on October 10. Episode one has been the most successful episode so far, with more than two million streams in the first 48 hours after upload alone. It is unclear how many clicks the episode has collected in the meantime – Amazon did not provide any information on this.

By comparison, the first episode of the second season "7 vs. Wild" had more than 2022.48 million views on YouTube in just under 4 hours at the end of 5. In the end, episode two was even more successful, with 13 million clicks to date.

What excites the viewers

The apparently still great attraction of the format is that you can ask yourself in front of the screen: How long would I last in the great outdoors? What would I do differently than or exactly like the candidates, only some of whom have survival experience? In addition, there is the celebrity factor: As in the previous season, in addition to the format co-inventor Fritz Meinecke, other internet stars are part of the experiment, including Knossi, Trymacs and Papaplatte, all successful Twitch streamers.

In the run-up to the new season, there had been a controversy surrounding wildlife filmmaker Andreas Kieling. He was originally intended as a team partner for the extreme athlete Joey Kelly, but was not allowed to participate (read more about this here). However, »7 vs. Wild: Teams« still provides material for discussion – regardless of the content of the episodes, which is intentionally not spoiled here.

For example, participants of the Canada season, including Fritz Meinecke himself, have since reported that organizational chaos reigned before the actual shooting began. As a result, all teams started with a lot of pre-race stress in their attempt to get along beyond civilization for 14 days. There had apparently been heated discussions about the essential question of whether and how the teams should be allowed to light fires on their islands. Meinecke commented on this in a video reaction on Saturday. He was reacting to the latest episode of a "Behind the Scenes" series that accompanies "7 vs. Wild: Teams." Your episodes go online directly on YouTube.