CNN to launch streaming service in early 2022
The streaming wars have their newest competitor (and newest “plus” service) courtesy of 24-hour news behemoth CNN, which today announced the debut of its standalone streaming-video-on-demand platform CNN+.
CNN+ will debut in the first quarter of 2022 and will include original, live and on-demand programming that is “separate and distinct” from CNN’s linear offerings, which also include CNN International, HLN and CNN en Español, the network said in a statement.
At the time of its launch, users can expect between eight and 12 hours of live programming each day that will complement its TV lineup, as well as a library of CNN’s non-fiction programming that includes marquee titles such as “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown,” “Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy,” and “This is Life with Lisa Ling.” Original series developed specifically for CNN+ will soon follow, details of which are expected to be announced later this year.
CNN+ will be a subscription-supported service. There's no word yet on if there will be alternative subscriber tiers or if the platform will include ads. “It’s early days, and decisions about including ads are premature at this time and will be made down the road,” according to a company spokesperson.
Upon the streaming platform’s launch, CNN will maintain its app and website offering free news coverage, though the network has noted that it “will continue to have a single app” where CNN+ users can access that programming, and pay TV subscribers separately can tune into linear broadcasts.
“CNN+ will be built on a foundation of world class reporting and storytelling and a commitment to meet our audiences wherever they are,” says CNN Worldwide’s chief digital officer Andrew Morse, who will lead the new streaming service.
Other members of the CNN+ leadership team include: CNN Worldwide’s Alex MacCallum, acting as general manager for the platform and leading its marketing and revenue operations; Rebecca Kutler as CNN+’s senior VP and head of programming; and Courtney Coupe as its senior VP of content strategy and operations.
The service joins a host of other streaming platforms that have appended a “+” to their names, reinforcing a trend that in the past few years alone has also brought the likes of Disney+, Paramount+, Discovery+, ESPN+ and more to the digital video marketplace.
Its launch also marks the latest move from a news network to cash in on the streaming wars, tooling with ways to connect with audiences in the face of a wider shift away from linear TV.
Competitor Fox News launched Fox Nation in 2018 and earlier this year added streams of its top prime-time shows to the service, alongside original documentaries, video podcasts, specials and lifestyle programming. Fox News has opened up sponsorship opportunities and integrations for brands, but Fox Nation does not have traditional commercial breaks.
The news organizations of ABC and CBS, among others, have also been beefing up their streaming services over the past few years.