What is the WWE Network
The announcement by WWE back in February, 24, 2014, that it was intending to launch its own Nefflix-like streaming service was met with skepticism. Quite a few could have foreseen the growth we have witnessed over the 4 years since its launch. The platform referred to as the WWE Network would allow the WWE Universe to enjoy streaming services of WWE content upon subscription. With more than 2 million subscribers today, the streaming service has significantly increased the revenues generated by the WWE Corporation. Subscribers pay a monthly subscription fee of about $10 – $15 and they reserve the right to cancel their subscription at any time Besides, the first month of subscription is free. Prior to delving into the increase in the number of subscribers to the Network, it is imperative to have a basic understanding of the platform.
What is the WWE Network? WWE Network is a Netflix-like streaming service that is owned by the WWE. It allows the WWE Universe to stream videos from WWE. These videos range from pay per view events like the recent WrestleMania and the upcoming Greatest Royal Rumble in Saudi Arabia later this month and Backlash in May all for free upon subscription. Subscribers also have access to unlimited WWEs premium content that is available anytime, anywhere and on any device. They also have access to WWE documentaries, original series, reality shows and in ring specials like Cruiserweight Classic in addition to the exclusive access to the weekly in ring premier shows. They may also enjoy replays of their favourite SmackOown live and Raw episodes that are available on demand for 30 days following the airing of the episode. WWE Network allows the WWE Universe to watch current WWE content and even WWE shows from decades ago. It allows subscribers to get entertained by ensuring they get access to 10,000+ hours of WWE content.
Growth of the VVWE Network. After somewhat of a teaser back in 2011, the WWE finally launched the WWE Network in the early months of 2014. It was launched in February, 24, 2014, in the US and it came with a free trial period in the week of the launch. In April, 2014, WWE Corporation announced that the streaming service had already gotten 667,000 subscribers. This was just shy of the 1 million subscribers targeted to break even. This shortfall had adverse effects on investors and in an effort to allay their fears, WWE opted to offer yet another free preview week of the Network. This was solely intended to increase the number of subscribers. Later in July, the WWE in their financial report indicated that they had gotten a total of 700,000 subscribers. The company had set its sights in attaining more than 1 million subscribers before the start of 2015. In July, 2014, WWE announced a deal that would see the corporation distribute the Network as a premium television service. On the same day, the platform expanded to other countries like Spain, New Zealand and Singapore among others. Further expansion followed or was scheduled along the years. These expansions were in an effort to increase the potential user bas. Today, the Network has coverage in about 190 countries worldwide. As of October, 30, 2014, the subscription to the streaming service stood at around 731,000 subscribers. In an attempt to further increase this number, the company dropped the mandatory 6-month subscription and subscribers were then allowed to cancel their subscriptions at any time An announcement by the WWE towards the and of January, 2015 put the subscription to the streaming service at more than a million. Vince McMahon promised subscribers that the company would focus on adding value and more content to the platform in the course of the year. Later in February, the company launched the Network in North Africa and in the Middle East as a premium service. During the trading period report of the second quarter of 2015, the VVWE reported that the Network had 1.156 million subscribers. This was a 13% decline from the 1.315 million subscribers reported in the first quarter of the trading period. The 1.156 million reported subscribers represented the paid subscribers. However, in addition to the trial subscribers, the gross subscription to the Network stood at 1227 million users. A report by Park Associates in November, 2015, showed that the VVWE Network had entered the top 5 of streaming service. This was an incredible achievement and the platform only came second in the sports category behind MLB.tv. The WWE announced that the Network had 1.949 million subscribers in April, 2017. In this figure, 1.661 were paid subscribers. Close to 70% of the subscribers to the WWE Network are from the States. Only about 30% come from other countries. To try and curb this and to increase the number of subscribers to the Network, WWE has tried to ensure that there is coverage of the streaming service worldwide. The Network is available in about 191 countries. It is unavailable in only 13 countries though its coverage in China is limited to Hong Kong. In April, 9, 2018, WWE announced that subscription to its streaming service had reached a record 2.12 million subscribers. This rise could be mainly attributed to the iconic WrestleMania pay per view event that had taken place the previous day. Within this figure, about 1A1 million were paid subscribers. The increase in the total paid subscribers to the WWE Network has seen significant increase in the revenues generated by the WWE. According to the projections of the first quarter of this year (2018), the company expects revenues from the Network to exceed $30 million 01BDA. The WWE also expects an increase in the number of paid subscribers to about 177 million by the end of the second quarter of this year. The company predicts that the income generated from the Network would exceed the anticipated $140 million by about $5 million.
The WWE Network continues to be an valuable asset for both WWE Corporation and the WWE Universe. The streaming service allows subscribers access to unlimited WWE content plus free live coverage of all pay per view events. The streaming services offered have proven quite attractive as the number of subscribers keeps growing and is expected to continue growing and possibly surpass the 2 million mark for paid subscribers by the end of this year