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CNN+ Streaming Shuts Down Just After A month

The streaming market is in flux: there are winners like Disney+ and HBO Max and losers like today’s Netflix. Perhaps the most spectacular flop was CNN+. The streaming offshoot of the news channel will be discontinued after a month. Warner Bros Discovery, the media company behind CNN, had big plans for its new online service.

They wanted to bring the news channel, which started in 1981, into the streaming era and score with depth and the main channel’s biggest stars. CNN+ wanted to take a fresh look at news through personality-focused shows and original series. So the offering dared to strike the balance between what CNN is known for and the new user behavior of the on-demand era.

Only 10,000 viewers a day

But the whole thing backfired and it was spectacular. Because like the news agency Reuters writes, it was reportedly able to draw in just 10,000 viewers a day, which is essentially nothing by US media industry standards.

The number of subscribers to the service, which costs about six dollars a month, is currently believed to be around 150,000. That is why the recently formed media group Warner Bros Discovery (WBD) pulls the emergency brake after a few weeks: CNN+ will be abandoned again on April 30, so after a month. In a statement, CNN Worldwide Chairman and CEO Chris Licht said it will return to its core offering.

“CNN will be at its strongest as part of the WBD streaming strategy, which sees news as an important part of an attractive, broader offering, along with sports, entertainment, and non-fiction content. We have therefore decided to discontinue CNN+’s operations.” According to the CNN boss, the focus will again be on expanding the classic digital offering. The quick end is expensive for Warner Bros Discovery: because they have already invested between $100 and $300 million in CNN+.

Mark Goodman

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