Faced with a comically low adoption rate, the $5.99-per-month streaming video service CNN+ is not expected to last long with some content rolled into other Warner Bros. Discovery apps and outlets.
The service’s total number of daily viewers has yet to surpass 10,000, according to reports.
The latest black eye for the left-leaning network comes after a tumultuous year when its chief, Jeff Zucker, stepped down after admitting to a consensual relationship with Allison Gollust, his former lieutenant at the company. It also comes after star anchor Chris Cuomo was fired for his involvement advising his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, as he faced a sexual harassment scandal.
The minimal viewership is a far cry from initial projections provided to network executives.
The network expected that CNN+ would net some 2 million subscribers in the US during the first year of operation.
By year four, the service was projected to count between 15 million and 18 million subscribers.
Warner Bros. Discovery has suspended all external marketing spend for CNN+ and has laid off CNN’s longtime chief financial officer as it weighs what to do with the subscription streaming service moving forward, five sources tell Axios.
Warner Bros. Discovery executives see an opportunity to possibly include some CNN+ content on CNN’s app and make that video available for free and supported by ads, according to one source. Other CNN+ programming could live within HBO Max.
Discovery executives are focused mostly on returning CNN to its journalistic core, a point Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav reiterated in a town hall last week. That includes less of a focus on primetime perspective programming, and more of a focus on hard, breaking news.
Around $300 million has been spent and hundreds of jobs have been created to support the service.
MacDailyNews Take: It seems that people aren’t quite as stupid as CNN assumed. Looks like zero credibility equals zero subscribers.
Bottom line: One less subscription service means more SVOD subscription dollars available for Apple TV+ and others.
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