Jim Ross made an excellent point regarding the number of WWE Network subscribers in a new blog post on his official website. In it, he likens WWE's $9.99 marketing of their Network to promoting a lunch special for $4.99 but not saying what the special menu item is.
Below is an excerpt:
Big week for WWE with their quarterly conference call discussing their financials for the quarter. Disappointing number on the total number of subscriptions but with the UK coming aboard that should help their cause.
This matter of the WWE Network can be analyzed in a variety of ways but the bottom line is that the WWE core product isn't 'hot' and when a brand isn't hot it's difficult to sell spin off products of the brand such as subscribing to their digital network.
WWE Creative must do a better job of heating up the WWE TV shows, allow new, fresh, young talents to take on bigger roles and introduced new talents with a systematic plan to bring them in with fanfare and instant credibility.
Plus selling he Network primarily because of the price of $9.99 which has essentially become a punch line in a joke and is not a selling point. It's akin to saying that we have a lunch special for $4.99 but not saying what the special menu item is. In a three hour raw, WWE should feature vignettes of network offerings to remind fans of what they are missing. If I'm not seeing, feeling, or experiencing whet it is you want me to buy I'm highly unlikely to buy it.
The three hour, WWE flagship broadcast, Monday Night RAW, always has segments that should not make air and using some of the great content from the Network in lieu of such suspect content is a win-win for everyone.
I enjoy the WWE Network and have had it since day one and I'm not paid or encouraged to say so. I'm simply speaking as a fan but I do feel that the concept is a viable one but it will be a couple of years or so it seems before the financials reflect the concept. But it will happen if it is promoted creatively and with weekly time on RAW specifically designated for Network promotion in an enhanced way and by using more time.
Things such as 'This week in WWE Network history' to the superstars themselves tweeting daily what they are watching or are going to watch on the Network are just two simple ways to drive traffic to the newest, most important aspect of the company. Things need to change because what is being utilized currently is obviously not working. The good news is that WWE can change their creative as it relates to their air marketing plan in a manner of days or weeks to improve their results of gaining new subscribers to the WWE Network.
The old, promotes philosophy of giving the audience what they want and they will buy it still is applicable today in any business.
Click here for JR's blog in its entirety.
I made essentially the same point earlier this week in Ask WNW. Below is an excerpt:
My personal opinion is the WWE Network is poorly marketed. There is too much emphasis on it being $9.99 without explaining the quality of the service. Maybe things will get better now that the service will soon be $9.99/month across the board but I don’t think price should even be a factor. I’ve pointed time and time again to Wrestlemania being the most expensive pay-per-view but the most bought. I’ve also explained how we market WNW Premium here at the website. While I believe our prices and plans are both affordable and flexible for any budget, I don’t believe that’s the reason you should sign up. I believe you should sign up because it’s a great product. You get a lot of value for your money.
I believe lost in $9.99 is the WWE Network is a valuable product — even for a causal fan. You get every pay-per-view, original WWE content, outstanding NXT live specials and other live programs along with a vast and expansive video on demand library. Further proof WWE isn’t properly relaying this message is how they bizarrely shame people that buy their pay-per-views on a traditional basis. Isn’t that proof enough that people don’t care about the price if they are interested in the product?
Click here for Thursday's installment of Ask WNW.