After rising for the first three years, WWE Network's subscriber base began to stagnate in 2017 and average paid subscribers have hovered between 1.4 million and 1.7 million ever since. Those numbers are set to drop in the near future, though, as WWE Network in the United States will move over to Peacock soon and the first WWE pay-per-view on the streaming service will be Fastlane on March 21.
WWE Chief Financial Officer Kristina Salen was recently asked by the Wall Street Journal why WWE Network struggled to expand its subscriber base and she admitted the company "didn't aggressively go after subscribers" like Netflix or Disney+ do.
"I would argue against the idea that the WWE Network struggled to grow," Salen said. "From our perspective, we didn't actively and aggressively go after subscribers in the way that a large, mass-audience streaming platform would."
Salen also asserted that WWE is an entertainment company, not a technology company, adding: "First and foremost, it's not our core competency to become Netflix, or even to become Disney+. The WWE Network by definition was going to be smaller than these mass-technology platforms. Because we're not a technology company. We're an entertainment company. From that perspective, the attraction of getting involved with another streaming partner is exactly as you described. It gives us access to a broader platform of folks within a premium tier."
Salen joined WWE in July 2020. She was formerly the chief financial officer at Etsy.