In February, World Wrestling Entertainment launched a sports entertainment experiment unlike any other – a streaming video service dubbed the WWE Network.
In less than 5 months, the WWE managed to secure close to 700,000 subscribers, all of whom happily cough up $10 a month for access to a robust catalog of new and archival programming.
But with the WWE still far away from the estimated 1.4 million subscribers it will need to actually make the WWE Network profitable, sources inside of the professional wrestling organization say nothing is off the table when it comes to generating new sources of revenue until the platform reaches greater audience penetration.
One source close to the WWE tells NativeMobile that the company hasn’t ruled out a modest advertising strategy as a means to better monetize the largely ad-free fledgling streaming service.
From sponsored segments or programming on the WWE Network to subtle but still significant in-programming product placements, WWE may be compelled to dive into the waters of native advertising until the turbulent storm at sea for WWE Network dies down.
“It’s certainly something that’s being considered for 2015,” the unnamed source who is not authorized to speak publicly on the matter told NativeMobile on Wednesday afternoon.
According to an array of entertainment industry and advertising analysts, WWE is already a master of digital advertising in a class of its own, utilizing an array of available tools to effectively market its globally popular product.
As of early 2014, WWE’s various performers on Twitter cumulatively enjoyed nearly 30 million followers and another 70 million Facebook likes. During last year’s presentation of WrestleMania 29, over 110 individual terms related to the event trended on Twitter. The WrestleMania Twitter hashtag itself was tweeted over 600,000 times, reaching a potential audience of 130 million people.
Earlier this week, WWE Network began offering potentially interested fans a free preview of WWE Network through Monday, July 14th. To check it out for yourself and sign up for the streaming service, click here.