The WWE Network has been a great way for fans to enjoy content from the past and present, but the digital streaming service is not flawless. On a recent episode of the Conversation With The Big Guy podcast, Ryback discussed an issue he sees with the network's subscription model.
"I have the WWE Network. It's $9.99 a month. I don't pay for it; they give out this free subscription for all the talent when they were there. I've asked for them to revoke it but they won't," Ryback said. "I never asked them personally, like calling [Head of Talent Relations] Mark Carrano and personally asked him or anything, but I was talking to my buddy and we were talking about WWE and how they are a publicly traded company. We were going over their numbers and the WWE says that they have wanted to get in the 3 million range, but they've been stuck on 1.3, 1.4 subscription range."
Ryback said he believes the "one-month free trial" that is offered by the WWE Network is detrimental to increasing its revenue. He said it's easy for people to continue using the free trial by creating new email address, thereby avoiding the $9.99 subscription fee.
"Here's the thing; I want them to succeed because I have a lot of friends that work there. I am doing fine, I'm doing great without them, but they have major flaws in their system where they do the free month," he said. "If you sign up by entering your email address you get a free month, but part of the problem is that they sign up with an email, get the free month and then cancel when they don't pay, and then afterwards they will enter a new email and get a free subscription again by creating a new email. It isn't hard at all to do and get another free month. They are f***ing themselves over by not having a better system in place that prevents this when remembering credit card information or names."
Ryback pondered how the free trial for fans and the complimentary subscriptions for employees are affecting the WWE's revenue. He said they might not factor those numbers into their stock reports, but he believes if they find a better model for their subscription service they would be better off.
"Also, I'm curious how many free subscriptions they give away when they count towards their quarterly stock reports. They always send me royalties as Ryan Reeves and have failed to mention that I legally changed my name to Ryback, which makes me laugh, so I went on there and changed my name to Ryback and updated my email and all that. I went to see if I can cancel my account, so I went on my personal computer because I couldn't see anything on my phone app, but I wasn't able to cancel it," Ryback said. "I went online to search how to cancel the WWE app, but the stuff that it showed me what to do to cancel it didn't show on my subscription because it is a complimentary access. I wonder if they give that number up by how many of the 1.4 million subscribers are complimentary access. It just made me think as I was talking with my buddy and I told him that I wasn't able to cancel my subscription and he wondered the same thing as to whether or not anyone else is able to cancel their subscriptions. The email thing is a huge problem for them on the WWE Network so they have to-- from a business standpoint - have to find a better filter in that email subscription."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Conversation With The Big Guy with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: Conversation With The Big Guy
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.