On Monday, the WWE Network launched its free tier unlocking a significant amount of content that can be viewed without the use of a credit card.
The network is launching a new show called ‘Raw Talk’ that will stream on Monday nights following Raw. When the network launched in 2014, they tried similar shows with ‘Raw Backstage Pass’ that lasted until October 2014, and the Raw pre-show that ran for several years and ended in 2016.
Free content includes the Monday Night War, Ride Along, Table for 3, Photo Shoot, & Story Time series. They are also making recent episodes of Raw, SmackDown & NXT available, as well as select WWE pay-per-views and NXT TakeOvers from their archive. In addition, their weekly series The Bump, WWE NOW, The Best of WWE, WWE Timeline & Top 10 is also part of the free content.
From Jayar Donlan, WWE’s EVP of Advanced Media:
The launch of WWE Network’s Free Version is a key component of our company’s digitization strategy and a new way for all fans to be able to experience premium WWE content. As we continue to reimagine WWE Network’s offering, the Free Version will serve as an effective way to reach a broader group of consumers and allow them to experience the history and spectacle of WWE.
As of April 6th, the day after WrestleMania, the WWE Network had 2,098,000 total subscribers with 1,622,000 of those being paid subs. WrestleMania enhanced the subscriber number significantly with 476,000 free sign-ups for the event, which was up from 233,000 free subs for WrestleMania 35 in 2019.
Obviously, the goal of the free tier is to cast a wider net of viewers and convert those sampling the free tier into paid subscribers. One of the keys of the second quarter earning’s report is how many of the free subscribers at WrestleMania they were able to convert.