April 21, 2022
CNN’s late-to-the-party branded subscription streaming VOD platform, CNN+, is set to shut down April 30, just weeks after launching. The service, which bowed shortly before the completion of the deal that created the new Warner Bros. Discovery media company (formerly WarnerMedia), reportedly suffered from low subscriber growth and internal conflicts about its role in the company, which is banking on the global rollout of HBO Max and Discovery+.
“As we become Warner Bros. Discovery, CNN will be strongest as part of WBD’s streaming strategy which envisions news as an important part of a compelling broader offering along with sports, entertainment, and nonfiction content,” Chris Licht, Chairman and CEO of CNN Worldwide, said in a statement. “We have therefore made the decision to cease operations of CNN+ and focus our investment on CNN’s core news-gathering operations and in further building CNN Digital.”
According to data from Sensor Tower, the CNN app gained just 18,000 installs March 29, the day CNN+ launched, and about 9,000 installs daily in the week after. CNN+ usage was estimated to be fewer than 10,000 viewers per day according to some reports. The CNN cable network averages just over 750,000 viewers a day.
Media reports say about $300 million was spent on CNN+, with a content budget expected to approach $1 billion over the next few years. Many of the platform’s original programs will be distributed across other digital channels within the company.