Data and numbers are power and there is nothing more powerful than professional wrestling. The #SocialSharpshooter provides a quick snapshot of the health of our favorite companies on social media. COVID-19 has run rampant on most business social media accounts, but the wrestling world seems to not have been impacted too badly by the state of the world.
The idea to track was inspired by the Wrestlenomics’ 2019 Pro-Wrestling Industry Report’s YouTube Views and Social Media Followers analysis.
All numbers listed here come from Social Blade, a third-party website that tracks social media statistics and analytics. All information is publicly available.
Social media analysis on Twitter relies mostly on an account’s number of followers. The accounts analyzed through Twitter include All Elite Wrestling, Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre, IMPACT Wrestling, Lucha Libre AAA, New Japan Pro-Wrestling (both English and Japanese), NJPW of America, NWA, Ring of Honor Wrestling, and World Wrestling Entertainment.
WWE (@WWE) runs away with the total amount of followers out of all the companies. They had 10,773,602 followers on January 1st, seeing an increase of 197,516 for a total of 10,971,118 on June 1st. The growth rate for the 6-month period is 2%.
IMPACT Wrestling (@IMPACTWRESTLING) is the second-largest wrestling company account in the world, with 552,999 followers as of June 1st, this is up 8,503 followers since January 1st, demonstrating a growth rate of 2%.
All Elite Wrestling (@AEWrestling) grew from 455,639 followers on January 1st to 523,771 on June 1st, adding 68,132 new followers with a growth rate of 15%. This is expected as the brand is still relatively new and is on the onboarding phase.
New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s three accounts have seen minimal growth since January, which can be attributed to the lack of any new shows – which translates to a lack of new content on their accounts. The Japanese NJPW (@njpw1972) account went from 389,775 to 402,034 followers, a gain of 12,259 with a growth rate of 3%. The English account (@njpwglobal) gained 8,975 followers to give a total of 133,522 followers, growth rate of 7%. NJPW of America (@NJPWofAmerica) grew from 15,825 to 18,237 followers, gaining 2,412 followers with an impressive growth rate of 15%.
Ring of Honor (@ringofhonor) went from 240,301 to 245,105, gaining 4,804 new followers with a growth rate of 2%. The NWA (@nwa) gained 10,517 between January 1st and June 1st, totaling 77,628 followers for a growth rate of 16%.
Despite the lack of any new shows due to COVID-19, both major Mexican promotions saw good growth in their numbers. Lucha Libre AAA (@luchalibreaaa) went from 200,395 followers on January 1st to 211,677 on June 1st, a gain of 11,282 accounts with a growth rate of 6%. CMLL (@CMLL_OFICIAL) had lesser gains, going from 118,120 to 124,797, with 6,677 new followers with a growth rate of 6%.
All in all, activity on Twitter seems to have taken a hit due this COVID-19 pandemic. Even though all of the accounts have gained followers, a lack of the usual content has slowed things down. AEW had a good gain in followers, which is understandable as the company is still in the new phase – despite some flaws with the content provided (multiple typos and some misinformation regarding its own television and online products).
When looking at a social account overall on YouTube, without going video by video, the two metrics that are heavily analyzed are the number of Subscribers and the total number of views on all videos across the channel. The accounts analyzed through YouTube include All Elite Wrestling, Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre, IMPACT Wrestling, Lucha Libre AAA, New Japan Pro-Wrestling (both English and Japanese), NWA, Ring of Honor Wrestling, and World Wrestling Entertainment.
WWE dominates YouTube, not just within the pro wrestling industry, but globally as well. With 61,200,000 subscribers (up 8,500,000 since January 1st, the WWE YouTube page is the 6th most subscribed channel on the website. Between January 1st and June 1st, the WWE YouTube did 5,762,082,892 views, bringing their total views up to 44,025,851,538.
IMPACT Wrestling has a very strong presence that is continuously growing. Jumping from 3,020,000 subscribers to 3,420,000, IMPACT’s variety of content leads the charge in their activity on the website. The channel did 192,720,472 views between January 1st and June 1st, upping their all-time views to 2,153,904,711. With the rate the channel is increasing its views, it wouldn’t surprise me if they hit 3 billion views in the next couple of years.
Despite some typos and titling errors, All Elite Wrestling’s YouTube channel has jumped in subscribers since the start of the year. Going from 788,000 subs to 1,290,000, the page more than doubled the number of total views in the last six months – going from 56,185,617 to 199,504,625 – a growth of 255%. Seeing how hot the company is in general, these numbers are not surprising.
Ring of Honor recently changed their entire YouTube content strategy and the benefits are shown in the subscriber count. Amassing 66,000 new subscribers since January 1st, the ROH channel added 17,725,179 views to its total of 126,915,073 views.
New Japan Pro-Wrestling has been doing strongly on YouTube despite not having any new in-ring content to share on the platform. The Japanese channel went from 351,000 subscribers to 390,000, whereas the English channel went from 288,000 to 316,000 subscribers, a total of 67,000 news subs since January 1st. The English channel did not get many views over the past six months, only garnering 424,229, but the Japanese channel amassed 34,116,642 views. Combined, both channels have a total view count of 310,756,467. NJPW seems to be the channel hurt the most by COVID-19.
Billy Corgan’s NWA is exclusively a social media promotion and had a strong subscriber base on January 1st at 167,000. Since then, they’ve added 37,000 new subscribers and the views have grown 44% over the last six months to a total of 16,111,875. When regular episodes of NWA Powerrr return, these numbers should climb.
As for Mexico, AAA dominates CMLL on all YouTube content. Lucha Libre AAA grew to 1,220,000 subs, up 502,000, whereas CMLL grew by 19,000 to 235,000. AAA nearly has 1 million more subscribers than CMLL.As for views, AAA has a total on June 1st of 168,215,284 views since the channel was created. CMLL has a grand total of 8,251,147. It should be noted, however, that CMLL really doesn’t care for its product and is mainly interested in sucking tourists to their weekly shows. Overall, Lucha Libre AAA dominates the lucha libre YouTube scene.
Instagram is a great tool to add a visual element to all social communications from a company, even wrestling! With the goal of making highly shareable content, the main focus when looking at an Instagram business account is the number of followers. I have also included the number of media content as well, just to give an idea on how active these promotions are on the platform. The accounts analyzed through Instagram include All Elite Wrestling, Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre, IMPACT Wrestling, Lucha Libre AAA, New Japan Pro-Wrestling, NWA, Ring of Honor Wrestling, and World Wrestling Entertainment.
Once again, WWE (@wwe) is the global leader in wrestling when it comes to Instagram. Between January 1st and June 1st, the account gained 1,389,356 new followers, at only a growth rate of 7%. WWE uses the platform the most, adding 1,628 new media in the 6-month span.
Just over one year in business, All Elite Wrestling (@allelitewrestling) has amassed a very good Instagram following – the platform is easily their best. Going from 901,863 followers on January 1st to 1,126,326 on June 1st, AEW’s growth is supported by the 988 pieces of media they’ve added to their account.
IMPACT Wrestling (@impactwrestling) saw a decent spike in followers since the beginning of the year, getting 67,739 new subscribers, a growth of 14% to increase their total number of followers to 542,478, only posting 894 new media to the account.
Ring of Honor (@ringofhonor) gained 13,815 followers with 479 new media since January 1st, raising their total to 385,702. The NWA (@nwa) had a growth of 26% since the start of the year with 314 pieces of new media, reaching 28,544 followers on June 1st.
Instagram does not seem like a concern for New Japan Pro-Wrestling (@njpw1972), the company only posting 98 media since January 1st. Even with the lack of content, the followers grew from 265,077 to 287,880.
In Mexico, Lucha Libre AAA (@luchalibreaaa) and CMLL (@cmll_mx) are very close when it comes to numbers on this platform. On June 1st, AAA reached 342,611 followers (up from 289,061 on January 1st) and CMLL reached 105,006 (up from 88,825). AAA is much more active on the platform, posting 585 media compared to CMLL’s 114 – a difference of 471!
Twitch is a relatively new streaming option that is currently used by IMPACT Wrestling, Lucha Libre AAA, and WWE to air their show with additional real-time chats with viewers and customizable emotes. The platform also allows continuous streaming of prior shows and matches, a feature used by IMPACT and AAA to provide a 24/7 content channel.
IMPACT Wrestling is the leading promotion when it comes to putting their content on the Twitch platform, notably airing their flagship television show live on the platform every Tuesday. IMPACT went from 106,171 followers on January 1st to 111,816 on June 1st, an increase of 5,645. The channel has been viewed a total of 6,406,852 times as of June 1st.
Lucha Libre AAA airs all of their shows live on the platform, including the ultra-popular TripleMania. This has boosted their popularity across the world, using the free platform to perfection. They’ve gained 5,207 new followers since January 1st, leading to a total of 97,114 with 16,042,586 total views on their page.
WWE has recently joined the platform and has been using it to stream some of their PPV watch-alongs and digital exclusive shows. They had 34,174 followers on January 1st, which has increased to 52,874 on June 1st – a gain of 18,7000 followers. The views on their page grew by 75% in the six-month period, going from 700,311 to 1,223,312.
Next to YouTube, Twitch is one of the best platforms to grow an audience with free video. Seeing the success of both Lucha Libre AAA and IMPACT Wrestling, it wouldn’t be surprising to see other companies jump on the website in the near future.
An honorable mention as there’s not much data available right now for wrestling companies on this platform. WWE is growing a big following with 5,390,511 followers and 61,446,430 likes on their videos as of June 1st. Lucha Libre AAA has 831,000 followers with 172,800 likes, All Elite Wrestling has 457,000 followers with 106,100 likes, and Ring of Honor has 313 followers with 578 likes.
N.B. Facebook data was not available at the time of publication.