UPDATE 4/22/2022 9:43 AM ET: CNN+ is shutting down only a month after it launched. The streaming service will officially shut down entirely on April 30. The original story follows below.
CNN launched its news streaming service, CNN+, last week, and it hasn’t gained much traction quite yet. Recent reports claim that the app is seeing fewer than 10,000 viewers per day, a minuscule fraction of the daily viewers that the CNN cable channel gets.
A recent report from CNBC shared the disappointing numbers earlier this week. The sub-10,000 daily viewer number is a drop in the hat compared to what CNN is used to. For reference, the CNN cable channel averages around 775,000 daily viewers.
So why has CNN+ failed to catch on so far? It’s surely not because the monthly price is too high. The original price is $5.99 per month and the platform is running an early bird promotion that offers a half-price subscription for life.
And there has certainly been plenty of advertising for the service. I can barely turn my head online without seeing another banner ad for CNN+. So what’s the problem?
If I had to speculate, I’d guess that people are already satisfied with the amount of news they see. And most people don’t like the idea of paying a subscription fee for access to more. Why pay $6 a month for something that you can see for free online?
Sure, CNN+ also offers original, on-demand content. But does any of it compete with the already established entertainment streaming platforms, like Disney+, Netflix, and HBO Max? It certainly doesn’t look like it.
Of course, it’s still very early for CNN+. And CNN’s parent company, WarnerMedia, recently merged with Discovery, so there’s still plenty of potential for the service to change directions and rework its content into a more favorable service.
But time is of the essence, and it won’t be too long before people completely forget about CNN+ like what happened to its other fallen comrade, Quibi.
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