On Tuesday, March 29th, CNN launched its new streaming service, CNN+, where for just $6 a month, subscribers can get exclusive access to such top-shelf content as “Jake Tapper’s Book Club,” “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace?” And “5 things.”
The launch did not go as hoped.
Unfortunately for CNN, things started to go off the rails pretty quickly. While its exact subscriber count is unknown, it appears to be far below projections.
“They’re bracing for layoffs,” Charlie Gasparino told FOX Business. “If those subscriptions don’t pick up, they’re probably gonna merge in May with Discovery”
Discovery, which owns CNN, has its own streaming service.
“One of the big issues is that no one knows exactly how many people have signed up to this despite spending millions of dollars on advertising,” Gasparino added.
“You would think CNN might’ve gotten a bump if CNN+ had a really nice debut, and it looks like they didn’t,” he said, referring to CNN’s placement in the App Store.
One analyst argued that “The problem with CNN+ isn’t that what’s on the service is in any way subpar. It’s that the promise implied by the name — the comprehensive news coverage of CNN plus programming you can’t find on the linear cable channel — comes nowhere close to being fulfilled by the actual product.”
"*" indicates required fields
Responding to these critics, CNN Executive Vice President and Chief Digital Officer Andrew Morse claimed that “We are not trying to launch just another streaming service. What we are building is the most essential and engaging direct-to-consumer news subscription service. There is not another news product like this on the market.”
“We’re not trying to compete with entertainment streaming services.” He added.
The general manager of CNN+, Alex MacCallum, told Brian Stelter that “CNN+ is our new news streaming service that leverages CNN’s trust and credibility, the incredible journalistic expertise of this organization, to bring new forms of storytelling to customers.”