CNN+ is on Quibi Watch

On a scale of one to Quibi, the $1.75 billion streaming service that was humiliatingly shut down just six months after launch because few people wanted to watch it and even fewer people wanted to pay to watch it. , CNN+ revolves around an eight.

Two weeks after its launch, CNN+ is reportedly struggling to gain traction and CNN executives are already beginning to doubt its viability. CNBC reported yesterday that less than 10,000 people watch CNN+ daily, compared to 773,000 daily viewers for CNN’s cable channel. Axios said the company would have to cut hundreds of millions of dollars from planned investments in CNN+. He cited sources who said CNN had already spent about $300 million on CNN+, including “significant marketing investment,” and initially planned to spend about $1 billion over the next four years, on the partly based on projections by CNN executives and McKinsey consultants. , which believed the streaming service would attract two million subscribers in the United States in its first year. CNN has yet to specify the number of subscribers to CNN+, but if less than 10,000 people are watching daily, it follows that the number of subscribers cannot be very encouraging. (A CNN spokesperson told CNBC that “we continue to be pleased with the launch and its progress after just two weeks.”)

While the similarities between CNN+ and Quibi have been apparent for some time (massive budgets, big-name talent, questionable viewership existence), the latest reports suggest that CNN+ could also be doomed in the same way. It took Quibi two months to cut costs, implementing 10% pay cuts for executives; According to Axios, CNN executives are talking about drastically cutting investment after just two weeks. And while Quibi at least has some sort of built-in apology for its failed launch, given that it went live at the start of the pandemic, CNN+ can’t say the same.

CNN+ promises to tell “the stories of our world, whenever you want,” which sounds great until you realize breaking news isn’t included. CNN+ can’t air its linear shows by contract, which means if anything happens in the world, you better find a TV. Although CNN+ covers some breaking news, there’s no live feed of programming that keeps viewers up to date with everything that’s going on, which is the only thing that makes CNN useful. CNN+ consists of various TV shows and documentaries, but it markets itself as a news source, with shows hosted by reporters, including former Fox News vice principal Chris Wallace, who has a show titled Who talks to Chris Wallace (Tonight, actress and author Joan Collins will speak to her – tune in at 6:00 p.m.). There’s also Kasie Hunt, who was poached from NBC to host Source (on a show last week, she interviewed political journalists Josh Dawsey of Washington Post and Jonathan Swan from Axios about their interviews with Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell, respectively – not really revealing). And then there’s current CNN star Jake Tapper’s book club show, the Twitter account for which posted nine tweets and has 438 followers. What was it about a hefty marketing budget?

That’s not to say these shows and others can’t gain viewership, but as was the question with Quibi: who will pay for it? While Quibi was at least trying to do something new with its thousands of “fast-paced” entertainment videos, CNN+ seems to be remaking itself as CNN, but less essential. Who exactly did they think was clamoring for more Jake Tapper?

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