Tuesday, December 5

CNN Plus, A major investment by CNN, which managed to poach big-name anchors, who also threw a splashy launch party, ends abruptly. At sunset on the last Monday of March, CNN stars had gathered for a gala on the 101st floor of a Midtown Manhattan skyscraper to celebrate the launch of CNN+. The streaming service was supposed to take the network into the digital future.

CNN Plus: The rise and fall within weeks of launch
CNN Plus: The rise and fall within weeks of launch

What is CNN plus?

CNN+ was a video streaming service, it was launched on March 29, 2022. This was an offshoot of the CNN cable television news network. This new digital streaming service CNN+ was announced on July 19, 2021, as “the evolution of video news as well as the start of a new era for the company.” 

The parent company of CNN, Warner Bros. Discovery, had announced that the service will be shutting down on April 28, 2022, a mere month after launching.

On July 19, 2021, CNN announced that they would be offering a new round-the-clock streaming service, that is due to launch in the first quarter of 2022. The plan was for the service to provide 8 to 12 hours of live programming a day. This was complemented by original series created solely for the service along with others culled from the network’s archives, as well as an “interactive community,” this would allow the viewers to interact with on-air talent.

When did CNN plus launch? 

CNN plus streaming service was launched on March 29, 2022. Subscribers who joined CNN+ in the first month paid $2.99 per month, this was about a 50% discount from the regular price, this promotional rate would remain valid for the duration of the subscription. More than 100,000 subscribers had joined the subscription service in its first week. The service started becoming available on Roku devices on April 11.

After you signed up, you could have accessed it through the CNN+ website as well as apps for phones, and streaming boxes, among other devices. Axios (an American news website based in Arlington County, Virginia) had reported CNN spent $300 million to launch the streaming service.

Who owns CNN plus?   

The parent company of CNN is Warner Bros. Discovery.

CNN+ was the brainchild of CNN’s former corporate parent, WarnerMedia, as well as its former president Jeff Zucker. He envisioned a versatile digital product that had big-name hosts that could buttress the network amidst a decline in traditional cable viewership.

However, the service had a powerful skeptic: David Zaslav, he is the chief executive of Discovery, who was on the verge of completing a merger with WarnerMedia. The merger would put him in control of the news network.

Why did CNN plus fail?

CNN+ had successfully launched to mixed reviews and low subscriber numbers.

CNN executives originally predicted to have 2 million subscribers in CNN+’s first year. They also expected around 15–18 million after 4 years. CNN had originally estimated that it would invest $1 billion in CNN+ over its first four years, however, after the slow start, Axios had reported that “hundreds of millions of dollars are expected to be cut” from the investment. 

On April 12, two whole weeks after its launch, CNBC had reported that fewer than 10,000 people were using CNN+ on a daily basis. The merger of Warner Bros. Discovery had been completed four days earlier, CNBC suggested that CNN+ programming might be becoming available as part of a larger bundled offering with HBO Max as well as Discovery+, each of the streaming services has millions of subscribers. The majority of the CNN original programming on HBO Max had been removed in advance of the CNN+ launch, as to be an exclusive for CNN+.

As of April 19, CNN+ had nearly 150,000 subscribers.

Executives at Warner Bros. Discovery wanted to merge the company’s other subscription platforms, Discovery+ as well as HBO Max into a giant streaming service. They were not convinced that a niche product like CNN+ could be viable as a singularity in the ever-growing streaming service market.

This shutdown is an inglorious full stop to an operation into which CNN had sunk tens of millions of dollars: from a nationwide marketing campaign to hundreds of newly hired employees to big contracts for name-brand anchors. This included the former “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace as well as the former NPR co-host Audie Cornish.

The service had collapsed just two days after Netflix reported a quarterly decline in subscriptions for the first time in a decade. Is this a potential warning sign for major media companies joining the increasingly crowded field of streaming services? This also raises the question of how many people are willing to pay for numerous streaming services, as well as how profitable these businesses can become in the upcoming few years.

When is the last day for CNN Plus?

On April 21, 2022, CNN announced that CNN+ would cease operations on April 30.

Chris Licht (new CNN head) as well as Warner Bros. Discovery’s head of streaming as well as interactive entertainment J.B. Perrette designated the service as incompatible with the company’s goal of forming a single streaming service to cover all of its properties. It is expected that most of the original programming will be migrated over to either HBO Max or the linear CNN cable television channel.

Licht had stated that the service’s employees would “continue to be paid, also receive benefits for the next 90 days to explore opportunities at CNN, CNN Digital, as well as elsewhere in the Warner Bros. Discovery family.” The departing CNN+ employees would be receiving at least six months of severance depending on their length of service. All of the subscribers to CNN+ will be receiving a pro-rated refund.

On April 27, the shutdown was moved to the next day.

Faqs about CNN Plus:

Is CNN Plus Canceled?

Yes, CNN Plus is officially canceled and will no longer be available.

How long did CNN Plus last?

CNN Plus launch date May 29th, 2022 to shut down date April 30, 2022, it just took 4 weeks for a downfall.

What happened to existing customers of CNN Plus?

All existing customer accounts will be closed on April 28th and a full refund will be issued.

How to Get a Refund for CNN Plus?

CNN Plus mentioned a full refund will be automatically processed for all existing customers. If you have more queries related to refunds you can go to their refund support page here.

Do I need to cancel my subscription to get CNN Plus refund?

No, CNN will automatically cancel your subscription and will give you a full refund as promised.

Will CNN Plus be back in the future?

Based on current circumstances, it is highly unlikely for them to relaunch anytime soon, but with the latest Netflix downfall, there might be some hope for new streaming services such as CNN Plus to emerge back with a different strategy.

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