Michael Weiss welcomed us to the call and sent it over to George Barrios. Barrios said that Wrestlemania was a great success with fans from all 100 States and 35 countries.
Barrios announced that WWE Network now has 1.8 million subscribers as of today. 370,000 of that are free subscribers who signed up this month for Wrestlemania. It was 24% increase in domestic subscribers from this time last year. They felt they have set a strong foundation for future growth with the Network. They noted that this was the first time that Wrestlemania was ever available as part of the WWE Network’s free promotion.
They went to the Q&A.
They were asked about the conversion rate of the free subscriber who samples for the first time and then become a paid subscriber. They declined to give additional details but noted when they did it was in the low to middle 70% of those who sampled the product.
They were also asked about protecting the Network from churn (losing existing subscribers while adding new ones in their place, as opposed to continuing to build the base) later this year, they were confident in the content they were presenting for later in the year, including Holy Foley, Camp WWE and big live broadcast events.
They have 434,000 international subscribers. The UK is their second largest country for the Network.
They were asked about the decision to use Wrestlemania as part of their free trial for the WWE Network. Barrios said that it was the best way to get people to come in and sample the Network and see if it’s for them. Once they saw that the free months strategy worked, there was no reason not to try it. It’s been their best way to get people in as subscribers.
They were asked about new markets that could happen later this year. They are now in every market but China and they hope to announce their strategy for that market sometime in the next few months.
They are going to keep investing in the service and the content on it. They hope that drives the Network.
They were asked about privacy hurting the Network. Barrios said they have investing quite a bit into the infracstructure of the Network and don’t believe privacy is a major issue when it comes to people “gaming the system” and not paying for the Network.
They were asked expectations for the traditional PPV buyrate for Wrestlemania 32. They haven’t been public about what they think will happen to PPV over time.
That’s it for the call. No Vince!
Tags: wrestlemania 32, WWE