Earlier this week, WWE Network turned one year old. And today, WWE is claiming another victory in the digital sphere – over the last 12 months, their YouTube channel had the most views of any sports YouTube channel, totaling a whopping 4.2 billion video views (with probably a good million or so of those views coming from Bill Simmons columns).
WWE also has 5.2 million subscribers on YouTube, more than any major sports league except the NBA, and is a higher total than MLB, NFL, NHL, ESPN, NASCAR, MLS, and NBC Sports combined. That’s a pretty obscene statistic.
It’s kind of ridiculous how many views WWE videos get on YouTube. They’ve uploaded ten videos in the last day-plus, all but two of which relate to the current product, and pulled in over 1.8 million views. Videos from Raw on Monday drew over four million views. Interviews and hype videos from the Fast Lane pay-per-view on Sunday picked up a million views.
I think WWE’s strategy here is incredible. Most of these videos drawing sensational amounts of viewers are from the current product, which has been the subject of some criticism amongst its fans (see the #CancelWWENetwork movement). They’re not solely relying on older fans and content to draw eyeballs. What WWE needs to do as the next step though is to get some of those millions of users watching their videos on YouTube and turn them into paying subscribers for the network.