In a very detailed and extensive interview with TheVerge.com, WWE Co-President George Barrios discussed the evolution of the WWE Network and the upcoming new tiers and features that will be introduced very soon.
The article details the jump from BAMTech to Endeavor Streaming and why it had to be done, redesigning the new app, the launch of WWE Network 2.0 and many more interesting details.
Barrios also discussed the three tiers that will be coming to the Network: Free, Regular, and Premium. “Our free content lived separately from our premium subscription content. They were kind of in different places,” Barrios said. “What’s coming here soon, in weeks and not months, is the beginning of integration of our free content with our paid content. It’ll be one integrated experience, and what content you can access just depends on what level member you are.”
The Free tier will offer the same free-to-watch videos you’d normally find on WWE.com and YouTube plus WWE will also probably offer timed previews of paid WWE Network content.
The Regular tier will be the current WWE Network experience, combining free content with subscription benefits like live pay-per-views, on-demand streaming, and original programming.
The Premium tier will cater to the “most passionate Network subscribers” with more content, more features, and also integrating some of other non-video services like commerce. “It becomes the one place to experience everything WWE,” Barrios said.
Barrios also shot down the idea of the WWE Network becoming a channel on Apple TV or Prime Video, saying that it becomes a “tradeoff of economics and access to data.”
WWE will also be introducing Download To Go, a new feature for offline downloads, letting subscribers download full-length PPVs, or TV shows.
But there’s one feature that WWE is not implementing anytime soon: 4K. The popular ultra HD picture is something that WWE has tested already, filming live events in 4K format but there’s no timeline on when the company will switch to 4K.
“4K, I think that will be driven more by the penetration of 4K devices and then 4K consumption. It seems like a century ago, but when we moved to HD 10 years ago or so, we waited until about 25 or 30 percent of the big screens in the homes were HD-capable,” Barrios said.
You can read the full interview at TheVerge.com.