In a review of the slide deck utilized by the WWE Investor Presentation of George Barrios at Cit Global TMT West Conference 2019, Q3 2018 highlights showed an increase in revenue ($869M, a record) and operating income ($88M). Media represented 62% of revenue and 70% of revenue was from North America. The company expects Operating income before depreciation and amortization (OIBDA) of "at least" $200 Million in 2019.
In what are described as key growth drivers, paid subscribers to the WWE Network increased by 17% to 1.63M when compared to 2015, and growth was listed as sustained year over year (going back to launch). There are currently 10 million WWE Network user accounts.
The company's "top 7" television agreement rights fees increased by 15% since 2014 and international revenue grew 20% (to $264M) since 2015. Increases in rights fees from USA Network and a new deal with Fox, will be effective on October 1, 2019 so the premiere of SmackDown on FOX will be on October 4, 2019. Television revenue is projected to be $421 million in 2021, as compared to $270 million in 2018. Deals set to expire in 2019 (and listed as "significant growth opportunity") are in the U.K. and India.
1,500 hours of content was created. It was written that "5-6 billion hours of content consumed", broken down by 15% consumed domestically on television and pay-per-view, 60% consumed on international television and pay-per-view, 20% consumed on digital or social platforms (that were ad supported) and the final 5% was consumed via the WWE Network. The WWE Network is listed as the company's second most-profitable platform. Despite a variety of platforms, pay television is the company's most profitable platform.
Digital and social media content are utilized by the company to build brand awareness and attract new generations of viewers in order to promote the network. The company had over 950 million social media followers, including a total from a variety of platforms. The company does acknowledge that there is no adjustment for duplicate followers over a variety of platforms.
The company sees revenue being driven moving forward by increasing the monetization of digital content, to close some of the gap between engagement of international viewers and a monetization of those viewers. The strategy includes localization of talent. The Middle East was listed as one of the regions with significant growth opportunities along with India, China and Latin America.
The company plans to better utilize data for a "360 degree business model". For example viewership data will be utilized to design targeted marketing promotions. In a case study of 1,000 variables, AJ Styles is used as an example of a "favorite star". Network subscriptions, live event tickets and merchandise would be targeted to the right consumer. Viewership would be used to guide event touring locations and the type of programming developed. Priorities for investment are listed in thirds: content (images of Mae Young Classic, Takeover, Swerved, etc.), Emerging Markets (7 flags include India, China, Mexico, Brazil) and technology.
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