There are numerous ways to poke and prod the latest official WWE Network subscriber count released Tuesday in WWE’s First Quarter 2016 earnings results.
The key numerical figure is WWE had 1.357 million total paid subscribers at the end of the first quarter on March 31, just a few days before WrestleMania.
The number increased to 1.454 million total paid on April 4, the day after WrestleMania, reflecting the net result of trial subscribers rolling over into a pay account.
Perhaps the most interesting numerical comparison is how many people became trial subscribers in-between March 31 and April 4 for WrestleMania.
March 31 (pre-WM32)
- Total Subscribers: 1.469 million (paid & free)
- Total Paid Subs: 1.357 million
- Trial Subs: 112,000
April 4 (post-WM32)
- Total Subscribers: 1.824 million (paid & free)
- Total Paid Subs: 1.454 million
- Trial Subs: 370,000
The net result is 355,000 total additions (20 percent of total) from March 31 to April 4, reflecting what Vince McMahon calls the traditional PPV viewing habits of fans making that “day-of decision to order a PPV,” or now order the Network.
The First Quarter 2016 Network business also breaks down as such…
Total Paid Subscribers
- 1.357 million
- Domestic: 1.027 million (76%)
- International: 330,000 (24%)
Domestic subs crossed the 1.0 million mark after dipping below that level the previous three quarters after Q1-2015.
WWE returned to 1.0 million subs in the first quarter of this year and remained there the day after WrestleMania, but domestic subs is still below Q1-2015…
Domestic Paid Trendline
- Q1-2015: 1.131 million paid subs (post-WM31)
- Q2-2015: 930,000 subs
- Q3-2015: 990,000 subs
- Q4-2015: 940,000 subs
- Q1-2016: 1.027 million (pre-WM32)
- April 4: 1.109 million (day after WM32)
- Q2-2016: ???
International Network subscriptions only makes up about 25 percent of the total, but it continues to grow as WWE adds new markets.
International Paid Trendline
- Q1-2015: 196,000 paid subs (post-WM31)
- Q2-2015: 217,000 subs
- Q3-2015: 243,000 subs
- Q4-2015: 277,000 subs
- Q1-2016: 330,000 subs
- April 4: 345,000 subs (day after WM32)
- Q2-2016: ???
In the first quarter of 2015, international paid subscriptions only made up 15 percent of the total. This year, the percentage was 24 percent.
Domestic business continues to look flat. However, international appears to have more room to grow, especially if WWE gets into the China market.
Financially, WWE Network generated $38.2 million in revenue, up from $28.6 million in Q1-2015. This was mainly due to the ramp-up of the Network as WWE transitions away from traditional PPV and the growth of international Network subscriptions.
Linearly, the Fourth Quarter 2015 generated $37.2 million in revenue. The First Quarter 2016 then marginally increased to $38.2 million.
WWE Network Revenue Trendline
- Q1-2015: $28.6 million (WM31 quarter)
- Q2-2015: $36.6 million
- Q3-2015: $36.4 million
- Q4-2015: $37.2 million
- Q1-2016: $38.2 million
- Q2-2016: ??? for WM32 quarter