CNN’s new streaming service, CNN+, will be folding, just 21 days after it first launched.
The network had planned to invest over a billion dollars in the product over the next four years. It was reported by several outlets last month that, due to low viewership, that the investments would be cut significantly. The company, however, has now announced that it will seize funding altogether.
An email reportedly sent from CNN reads: “Today Warner Bros. Discovery and CNN are announcing that we have decided to cease operations at CNN+, effective April 30. I want to share my perspective with you before the news breaks.
“This decision is in line with WBD’s broader direct-to-consumer strategy. 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. Let me be clear: this move is in no way a reflection of the talented and hardworking people who poured their heart and soul into building and flawlessly launching CNN+ in a very short period of time.”
— Alison Morrow (@AlisonMorrowTV) April 21, 2022
CNN executives had hopes that the platform would attract about 2 million subscribers in the US in the first year alone, and would draw 15-18 million viewers after four years.
A source told CNBC that fewer than 10,000 people were using CNN+ on a daily basis, just two weeks after its launch.
Axios reported on Wednesday that the service “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.”