CNN Plus, the newly launched paid streaming service, is already shutting down.
News of its troubles emerged earlier this week when Axios reported that CNN’s parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery, had suspended marketing for the much-hyped service, sparking widespread speculation that the product would not survive much longer. It will officially shut down on April 30.
Current subscribers of CNN Plus will receive “prorated refunds of subscription fees,” according to CNN and WBD.
Chris Licht, the new head of CNN Worldwide, hinted that some version of CNN Plus could be folded into a larger streaming service at the company. “As we become Warner Bros. Discovery, CNN will be strongest as part of WBD’s streaming strategy which envisions news as an important part of a compelling broader offering along with sports, entertainment, and nonfiction content,” Licht said in a statement.
On social media Thursday, the quick demise of CNN Plus drew immediate comparisons to Quibi, the ill-fated streaming service founded by Jeffrey Katzenberg, which folded after six months. However, CNN Plus appears to be, at least in part, a victim of interoffice politics, as the bosses at WBD—which was created from a recently completed merger between AT&T’s WarnerMedia assets and Discovery Inc.—were apparently not fans of the concept, as Varietyreports.
CNN Plus did not offer a live feed from its eponymous cable network, but rather companion content featuring additional programing and CNN personalities—a source of confusion for some customers who had expected it to function as an extension of CNN proper. The service cost $6 a month or $60 a year.
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