Brian Stelter called it "the biggest bet any company has made in the news streaming world," but just one day after "facts first" CNN launched its streaming CNN+ platform, it seems the bet is already proving to be a bad one.
Heralded as "a historic day" for CNN, Tuesday's launch of the nascent streaming service has apparently not gone well. As Fox Business' Charlie Gasparino reported, "lackluster" sales projections had led employees to brace for layoffs as soon as May.
Breaking: @CNNplus employees bracing for layoffs possibly as soon as May amid projections of lackluster sales of new streaming channel; CNN employees say new streaming channel could be merged into larger @discoveryplus as early as May unless subscriptions pick up 130 @FoxBusiness— Charles Gasparino (@CGasparino) March 30, 2022
Apparently, CNN+ may end up lumped in with Discovery+ now that CNN parent company WarnerMedia has merged with Discovery.
Here's how Brian Stelter pitched CNN viewers on subscribing to the new streaming service, though it's unclear why Stelter thinks his CNN+ show would be a selling point.
Despite Stelter and other CNN hosts' bragging about the supposedly exciting and groundbreaking streaming platform that would change how Americans get their news, there were signs on launch day that CNN+ wasn't landing enough subscriptions. Take, for example, this half-off for life deal offered to subscribers on Tuesday:
Sign up for #CNNPlus today and get 50% off your subscription (for life) ?? https://t.co/XjOaTvyOQq.— CNN+ (@CNNplus) March 29, 2022
Launch offer: $2.99/month (standard price $5.99/month). One offer per customer. Cancel anytime. Limited time offer ends 4/26/22. pic.twitter.com/GLMkrDuL3D
As Landon also reported on launch day for CNN+, the network wasn't even available on all smart TVs and streaming devices including Roku, Google TV, Android TV, Samsung, LG, Microsoft Xbox and Sony Playstation. As Landon noted, launching without the "support of Roku is expected to have even greater costs as the platform services more than 60 million active accounts across the globe and has a dominant market share of connected TV homes in the U.S."
Vespa previously reported on how things have not been going well for Chris Wallace since he jumped over from Fox News, while Madeline reported the criticism CNN+ has faced over a perceived lack of diversity at the woke network.
It's not much of a surprise that people aren't scrambling to pay for CNN+ given they aren't even that enthused to watch CNN on TV for free. Ratings numbers for the first quarter of 2022 show Fox News Channel dominating with the top 14 shows in the key 25-54 year old demographic while CNN trailed with the 15th, 17th, and 20th-25th place shows.