WWE Network Becomes #2 Live Streaming Site In U.S.
WWE Network (NYSE: WWE) is quickly becoming one of the hottest properties in streaming video.
According to Dan Sahar, co-founder and VP of Product Marketing at Qwilt, WWE Network has quickly become the #2 live streaming site in the United States. As of April 7, the service had garnered an impressive 17.7 percent of all live streaming traffic (by volume). This compares favorably to Ustream (which garnered 10.9 percent of streaming traffic), MLB.com (7.2 percent) and ESPN (6.3 percent).
Twitch still dominates the list with 43.6 percent of traffic.
However, WWE Network has one advantage over most of its competitors: live events that are massively popular. Wrestling may not be as popular as baseball, but WWE fans have happily opened their wallets for numerous pay-per-view events. Now they can get all of those events and watch old skirmishes for one monthly fee. It is changing the dynamic of the industry -- and could prove to be a big win for WWE.
When the most recent WrestleMania debuted, WWE Network temporarily jumped ahead of Amazon Prime in terms of bandwidth use. During that time, WWE Network was not merely the second most popular live streaming site -- it also became the third most popular site among all streaming services.
Those gains didn't last, but it could be a sign of things to come.
"It was really impressive," Sahar told Benzinga. "I think they did a really wise move in that they didn't create their own infrastructure for streaming. Rather, they rode on something that was already proven to work by using the MLB infrastructure."
In addition to Qwilt's latest findings, the company also released a couple graphics to illustrate which video sites are leading the industry.
Image Source: Qwilt
Image Source: Qwilt
Google is the dominant player in many regions, but Sahar does not believe this trend will last.
Before Netflix launched in the U.K., for example, Google's video traffic (which primarily comes from YouTube) accounted for somewhere around 50 percent of the video volume.
"But once you have a long-form content site like Netflix available in a country, everything changes," said Sahar. "That site typically becomes the dominant volume-generator. In the U.S., if you look at the situation here as sort of the future of where everything is going, you have multiple long-form providers, and each one is generating a massive amount of volume compared to a primarily short-form provider like YouTube, which is both lower-resolution videos but also shorter videos, like two to four minutes versus an hour long TV episode."
Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.
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