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CNN + to Shut Down Just a Month After Launching

As far as much-hyped but short-lived ventures go, CNN + is up there with the most underwhelming in history, and as of April 30, it will shut down just a month after its launch. Originally pitched as the biggest expansion in CNN’s history, the newly launched platform has seemingly become one of the first casualties of the Warner Media merger with Discoverywith new management deciding that the streaming service is not worth continuing with.

CNN + launched just a fortnight before the merger between Warner Media and Discovery completed, and it was reportedly not great timing, as by all accounts there was always a different plan in place, but for legal reasons it could not be communicated within CNN’s executive team until the paperwork was all completed. Now with the new joint company being expected to save $ 3 billion to please Wall Street, CNN + was never going to manage to continue as a viable concern.


JB Perrette, streaming boss of Discovery, said in a statement, “In a complex streaming market, consumers want simplicity and an all-in service which provides a better experience and more value than stand-alone offerings, and, for the company, a more sustainable business model to drive our future investments in great journalism and storytelling. We have very exciting opportunities ahead in the streaming space and CNN, one of the world’s premier reputational assets, will play an important role there. ”

There has been some doubt about how successful the launch of CNN + was, with no information being released about how many subscribers were drawn into the $ 5.99 a month service but some suggesting that the uptake was not anywhere near as much as projected. That is in complete contrast to a town hall meeting among staff in which incoming CNN CEO Chris Licht said that “This was an incredibly successful launch,” but the new director of the company means it just does not fit the program.

Related: Netflix Plans Crackdown on Password Sharing After Loss of 200,000 Subscribers

The Streaming Landscape is Starting to Change and Evolve

Streaming studios
Image via Vox

While the decision about the fate of CNN + seems to have been made before the service even launched, the platform is not the only one who is facing changes and potential problems in the immediate future. During the Covid pandemic, many streaming services saw subscriber numbers rocket due to families being stuck at home in lock down with nothing to do and in some cases save cash that they could not spend on going out and leisure activities. However, now most counties are treating Covid as an acceptable risk, all of that has changed again.

This week Netflix were revealed to have lost around 200,000 subscribers since the last quarter, which was worked out as a gain of 500,000 and a loss of 700,000, the latter partly down to the suspension of service in Russian due to their invasion of Ukraine. Having initially expected to gain around 2.5 million subscribers in this period, the streamer is now facing some dramatic changes to the way it invests its money, how it deals with password sharing among family members and discussions about how it can prevent further huge losses in subscribers .

With many streaming platforms all facing difficult choices about the services they offer, the prices they charge and how to try and keep increasing subscriber numbers in a very crowded market, the loss of CNN + is possibly one that could have been foreseen the moment the WarnerMedia- Discovery deal was done. The real question now is what changes will we see across the streaming world in general as we come out of the pandemic and find dozens of platforms all fighting for the attention of audiences who may no longer have time to invest in them.

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