CNN+ seems to be missing its mission 2 million Subscribers in the first year with just 10,000 daily viewers, and around 100,000 (Paywall) Total subscribers. Those numbers would also put the streaming product well short of its goal of adding 15 to 18 million subscribers over the next four years.
The slow start, made worse given the approximately $300 million invested in the service, has led to speculation that CNN+ investments and subscriber projections for CNN+ could be slashed in the coming months. However, as the new CNN boss Chris Licht, there is still a chance for a trend reversal moves in Jeff Zucker’s old position in May.
But so far, CNN+ has begun inspiring references to the short-lived Quibi service, which has been criticized for offering fairly uninspiring content in a new format that audiences weren’t particularly craving.
Apple TV+ hinted at the dangers of CNN+ on one of its hit shows
The lukewarm response from viewers and media professionals to CNN+ appears to have been driven primarily by a relatively uninspired slate of programming. While other “Plus” services like Disney+ and Apple TV+ put out award-winning original series and movies and offer extensive catalogues, CNN+ seems to offer viewers much of the same type of content – mini-documentaries, interviews, news shows you get from the regular version of CNN.
CNN’s “Plus” movement is reminiscent of the cynically designed fictional UBA+ service The morning show, the hit Apple TV+ series about the inner workings of a fictional media giant. In the show’s final season, network star Alex Levy (played by Jennifer Aniston) saves the ill-conceived UBA+ service by delivering a brace Come to Jesus moment On-air while suffering through a bout of Covid-19. The show makes the subscription service a must, and the Zucker/Licht-esque network boss behind the service, played by Billy Crudup, watches appreciatively as Aniston saves the day.
Things might not be that simple for the real world of CNN+, but the network could take inspiration from the scripted story arc. If CNN+ insists on offering the same hosts as CNN, then these personalities must be allowed to stretch beyond their normal limits in order to attract audiences to the paid service.
CNN+ still has time to save itself from becoming a cautionary tale media tale
Instead of repackaged episodes of the now defunct ones Anthony Bourdain: parts unknownas well as same presenter and guest analyst Faces appearing on CNN, the streaming service may need to aggressively differentiate itself from its mothership with new on-air talent and fresh ideas leveraging its news-gathering pedigree.
While a growing list of streaming brands are trying to lock in viewers’ streaming budgets of $10-$15 a month, for an extra $60 a year, CNN+ just doesn’t deliver enough. convince consumers to count more is needed for a slightly different version of the regular CNN broadcast list.