CNN is joining the streaming game, executives announced Monday, with the launch of its CNN+ service in the first quarter of 2022.
Network executives describe the new platform as “an addictive experience that complements the linear CNN networks and digital platforms to serve CNN superfans, news junkies and fans of high-quality nonfiction programming.”
The streaming service offers eight to 12 hours of live programming per day, original series and an interactive community “to connect directly with our talent and experts on the issues that matter most to them,” said Andrew Morse, CNN’s chief digital officer, in a press release. a statement.
It will initially be integrated into the existing CNN app, according to Variety, with a price for the service yet to be announced.
CNN officials announced Monday that they will be launching a new streaming service called “CNN+,” which will debut in the United States next year.
It will initially integrate into the network’s existing app, seen here
Its live, daily programming will be separate from that of the network, as lucrative, long-term agreements between the network and cable and satellite companies prohibit it from selling its live programming to streaming services.
Instead, the company announced, CNN+ will act as a “parallel track for both existing cable subscribers who want additional programming and customers who have no cable at all.”
Its live programming features “current deep dives and lifestyle content from some of CNN’s most prominent talents, as well as several new faces,” addressing topics such as race, climate change, space and science.
It will also feature nonfiction shows such as “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” and “Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy,” as well as other unscripted series and movies developed specifically for the new subscription service, which will also allow viewers to interact directly with the hosts — something CNN has experimented with in city hall discussions about the coronavirus pandemic.
“CNN invented cable news in 1980, defined online news in 1995, and is now taking a significant step in expanding what news can be by launching a live streaming subscription service in 2022,” said Jeff Zucker, president of Warner Media News and sports. , and president of CNN Worldwide, in a statement.
“On top of a television offering that has never been stronger, which remains at the heart of what we do today, we will offer consumers a streaming product that expands the reach and reach of the CNN brand in a way no one else does.”
“There’s no such thing,” he said.
Morse explained that the streaming service “will not become a news service,” More said, calling the new service “quite unlike anything else on the market.”
At launch, he said, the service will focus primarily on videos, but “because we understand how customers use the service, we can fully think about new types of formats, including podcasts and long articles.”
The streaming service will feature some of the network’s original shows, such as “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown,” and will feature original programming
The streaming service’s announcement comes as shares of CNN’s parent company, AT&T, continue to fall, two months after it announced it would merge Warner Media and Discovery.
Tens of millions of people currently access CNN through a subscription to a cable or satellite service, the network reported, but it has taken a hit in recent years as more and more Americans are cutting the cord.
In January, The Trade Desk published a survey that found that 27 percent of U.S. households planned to cancel their cable or satellite package by the end of the year, nearly double the cancellation rate of 15 percent in 2020, according to Forbes.
Andrew Morse, CNN’s Chief Digital Officer, will lead the new CNN+ team
Only about two-thirds of U.S. households now subscribe to cable, satellite or “skinny bundle packages,” Forbes reported, while the amount of time spent watching TV is also falling sharply — at 68 percent of viewing time spent watching TV. streaming services and only 28 percent spent on traditional TV.
But with the new streaming service, CNN executives expect to reach a wider audience.
“We think given our brand reach; given our credibility; given our confidence; given that we can reach 290 million globally across linear and digital platforms, there is a really substantial audience opportunity for us.”
The company will hire approximately 450 people to work on the new venture, which will be led by Morse, with Alex MacCallum, the current head of product, as general manager of CNN+, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Rebecca Kutler, Courtney Coupe and Robyn Peterson will oversee programming, content strategy and operations and technology, respectively, while the CNN Originals team will oversee the originals for the new streaming service.
CNN’s announcement comes as shares of parent company, AT&T, fell more than 2 percent Monday afternoon, two months after the company announced it was splitting Warner Media and combining it with Discovery, and as more and more news networks create their own streaming services.
FOX has had its own streaming service, FOX Nation, for three years now, but it’s listed as an “entertainment” app rather than a “news” app, targeting lifestyle, documentary and commentary programs, and MSNBC announced last week that it will expand its programming on Peacock.
The giants of the streaming service market, as it stands
CNN will join a growing streaming service market next year with the debut of its CNN+ service, including:
- Netflix – known for its original TV shows and other shows that are no longer on air, the lowest tier for the service costs $9 per month
- hulu — which includes next-day access to many primetime shows, some of which have been revived, as well as new movies. It costs $6 a month with ads, or $12 a month without ads
- Amazon Prime video – included in someone’s Amazon Prime account, Amazon Prime includes some original shows
- Apple TV+ – primarily focused on its own original content, some of which are Emmy-nominated. It costs $5 a month, or a year free with the purchase of a new Apple product
- Paramount Plus – formerly CBS All Access, it now includes MTV, Comedy Central, VH1, BET, Nickelodeon shows, as well as a library of Paramount movies and CBS News for $5 a month with ads or $10 a month without ads
- Disney+ – includes all Disney classics, shows and movies from the Disney channel, as well as classic and original Star Wars and Marvel content for $6 per month or $70 per year
- Peacock – includes some NBC classics with ads and NBC news for free, but originals and full seasons are limited to those who have Peacock Premium, at $5 per month. An ad-free version costs another $5 per month
- HBO Max – has all the original HBO series, thousands of classic movies, several television shows, and new original projects for $15 a month