Sun, January 29, 2023

CNN Plus on a rough start, posting less than 10K users

CNN

Reports revealed that CNN Plus grappled to gain viewers from the two weeks into its existence. The media company drew less than 10,000 daily users.

The subscription news streaming service started on March 29. It charges $5.99 a month or $59.99 annually, becoming available on Roku on Monday. However, it is still not available on Android TV.

Correspondingly, the small audience casts doubt on the future of the application. Last year, CNN’s cable network struggled with a sharp decline in viewership. Nevertheless, it still rang up an average of 773,000 total viewers a day.

Regardless, the spokesperson of the company positively interpreted the result. The firm stated that it remains happy with the launch and its progress after only two weeks.

The media business sought to make a massive splash with CNN+, luring big-name talent from rival news networks. It invited Kasie Hunt from NBC News and Chris Wallace from Fox News.

However, market participants question if there is enough demand to sustain a stand-alone news streaming service. They emphasized that entertainment-first options have dominated the landscape.

For example, Disney Plus garnered more than 10.00 million subscribers on its first day. Its  ESPN Plus, which offers sports news programming and live event broadcasts, recently posted 21.30 million subscribers.

Consequently, NBCUniversal’s Peacock, which features news programming, obtained 24.50 million monthly active accounts in the United States. Subsequently, it has more than 9.00 million paid members.

Meanwhile, the news business company has not released an exact number of its subscribers. This followed the recently completed merger deal of Discovery and WarnerMedia, CNN’s parent company.

Despite the gloomy report, Warner Bros’ Discovery extended its upturn. It edged up 7.47% or 1.70 points to $24.47 per share.

Significant cuts coming for CNN Plus

Analysts anticipated a dramatic cut in investment and projections for CNN Plus in response to a low adoption rate.

Initially, the news giant said it plans to invest up to $1.00 billion in the service over the next four years.

At the same time, the firm forecasted to bring in 2.00 million US subscribers in the service’s first year.

At present, the total spending of the platform is about $300.00 million. Subsequently, WarnerMedia financed about $100.00 million to market CNN Plus.

Former CEO Jason Kilar decided to push ahead with the subscription service launch before merging the company with Discovery. Moreover, he remained upbeat about subscriber numbers.

Meanwhile, incoming CNN chief Chris Licht will join Warner Bros. Discovery on May 1. He will make decisions on how the service proceeds.

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