The uphill battle CNN+ has ahead for success
As CNN+ put it’s flag in the sand for a Q1 2022 launch… there is a considerable uphill battle ahead.
CNN’s main draw of live news already has free streaming competition from major well-known brands including market leader CBSN, and ABC and NBC News and even SKY internationally, and not sure about the existing size of the Venn diagram of CNN Superfans and cord-cutters willing to pay to have CNN streaming in the background all day 🤔.
Yes CNN rules breaking news anywhere in the world but is that enough to pay for it on a consistent basis? Not to mention - just how much are CNN’s all-stars gonna be on this given they still have to support the mothership? Does Anderson Cooper have the bandwidth for a meaningful CNN+ ORIGINAL show that his superfans will pay for?
The ESPN+ for News approach
There’s the opportunity to dive more “niche” into content for news genres that don’t get as much time on CNN, but niche news is not niche sports. Unlike a college softball or int’l soccer league game that ESPN+ may live-stream to a niche audience willing to pay for it, any outlet can… and already does cover full live events (a politician’s speech, a DC rally, etc) and… these events are often not too compelling live to watch. And overall just the internet being… well the internet, what topics aren’t already served by free options either written or video? (VICE comes to mind for starters).
That leaves CNN ORIGINALS & DOCUS which are great… but probably not plentiful enough to support a “pay us $5 (?) a month to stream them” proposition. Still more details to come obviously, but curious to see the main “hook” that’s emphasized to sell it outside of “CNN without the ads”, until it’s potentially included as an add-on in some sort of WARNER DISCO bundle.