Today, we were treated to a WWE earnings call where the WWE Network was a major point of discussion.
And Vince McMahon announced 2 very positive things, which we can run down together:
This is huge and it’s a big lesson learned by WWE.
To give your subscribers the freedom to choose to stay on is a major incentive to try things out.
Starting in December, the determining factor should be the quality of the product.
What could be more fair than that?
Here’s a ballsy move.
In a world where WWE still hasn’t broken even with the WWE Network, they’re giving away Survivor Series and everything else that comes with the month of November.
That’s NXT, WWE Specials, Aftermath, etc.
WWE is clearly becoming less conservative in their approach and look willing to take more risks to get to where they need to go.
Perhaps this is only happening in the wake of their failure to meet stockholders’ expectations from the onset, but it’s a welcomed play for consumers, especially for those on the fence.
What could be better than to try out the Network for free and, if it’s not for you, simply skedaddle at the end of the month?
But, on the other hand, here’s my gripe of the day:
This was a bit puzzling to me and took me a while to do some fact-checking to make sure the above statement was accurate.
But it does seem that if you’re already on board, Vince & Co took away your freebie.
Ok, granted: new business is crucial and we see promos aimed at prospective customers every day and in every business.
But still, why exclude your most valuable asset (the people already paying you) in such a tight-knit community?
Everyone’s gonna know you preferred to put over the two birds in the bush, rather than say “thank you” to the bird already in your hand. Why not do both, for the sake of your long-term business?
And, again, granted:
the Network is a great service. On the podcast, I called it the closest we’ll come to the Netflix of pro wrestling, and so well-priced.
I am making a suggestion while not having the detailed financials at my desk. But Vince is sending everything over.
Jokes aside, I get it. You don’t need to give the current subscribers the month of November for free.
But how much of a cool move would it have been if you did?
And, finally there’s this:
According to the same earnings report, WWE is looking at a net gain of only 31,000 subscribers.
In June 2014, there were 700,000. In October, 731,000, with 286,000 acquired. Confusing?
Doing some math, one comes up with a gross loss of 255,000 subscribers.
While some will unsubscribe for a myriad of reasons, from financial to having merely tried out the service on a whim, one has to question the relationship between this mass exodus and the current WWE product’s quality.
George Barrios asked on the Conference Call why people "disconnected" with the WWE Network. To say "avoided the question" would be nice.
— WrestlingNewsSource (@WNSource) October 30, 2014
As we’ve been discussing this week, inconclusive finishes tend to be a factor in viewer satisfaction… or dissatisfaction.
Between that, the absence of a few major and up-and-coming stars and questionable show writing, the WWE seems to have their work cut out for them en route to their breakeven point.
Now more than ever, launching in the UK and Germany seems crucial.
Are you a subscriber? A would-be subscriber on the fence?