If anyone wanted to know just how hard it is to launch a streaming service, they need look no further than CNN+. The news-based streaming service reportedly has fewer than 10,000 daily users two weeks after it launched.
While not directly a competitor to Apple TV+, Netflix, and other content streaming services, CNN+ is finding that while those offerings can successfully ask for money its news content is a more difficult sell. According to a new CNBC report, the CNN+ service is so unpopular that fewer than 10,000 people are watching it on the daily.
For comparison, CNN’s cable channel gets almost 775,000 people to watch it each and every day.
With apps available for iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV, CNN+ has a presence on all of Apple’s devices but its $5.99 per month or $59.99 per year price is proving problematic. The company is currently offering people the chance to pay just $2.99 for life, a 50% saving, and it’s still finding it difficult to pull in viewers. And this after spending on big-name talent to front the new service, too.
CNN sought to make a huge splash with CNN+, luring big-name talent from rival news networks, such as Kasie Hunt from NBC News and Chris Wallace from Fox News. But there is broad skepticism whether there’s enough demand to sustain a stand-alone news streaming service, with entertainment-first options dominating the landscape. Disney+, for instance, posted more than 10 million subscribers on its first day.
That comparison with Disney+ is perhaps a little harsh, but the point does still stand — selling a streaming service isn’t easy and there is now no way to be sure that CNN+ will stand the test of time. Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav could still kill the service off completely, something that seems more likely by the day.