CNN Expected 2 Million to Subscribe to CNN+, Only 10,000 Use It

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CNN Expected 2 Million to Subscribe to CNN+, Only 10,000 Use It
By Daniel Greenfield

In January, I wrote about the ridiculous hubris behind the launch of CNN+.

CNN Airport, its captive audience operation, shut down earlier this year. And CNN isn’t far behind. CNN+ is the network’s bet that enough people will pay 6 bucks a month to watch it.

CNN’s effort to launch CNN+, a paid streaming service, at a time when its core ratings are crashing is confusing observers who wonder why the news network thinks people will pay for CNN when they won’t even watch it for free.


CNN President Jeff Zucker billed CNN+ as being for “CNN superfans, news junkies and fans of quality non-fiction programming.”

The existence of CNN superfans has been officially disproven.

Fewer than 10,000 people are using CNN+ on a daily basis two weeks into its existence, according to people familiar with the matter.

Time to start firing people.

By the numbers: The news giant was initially planning to invest around $1 billion in the service over the next four years.

Hundreds of millions of dollars are expected to be cut from that original investment total.


To date, around $300 million has been spent on the subscription service, which includes a sizable marketing investment.

Ouch. I don’t think 10,000 users are gonna recoup that investment.

CNN executives, with help from consulting firm McKinsey, originally expected to bring in around 2 million subscribers in the U.S. in the service’s first year and 15-18 million after four years.

I’m not sure which is funnier, the McKinsey reference or the idea that 2 million and then 15 million people would pay $6 a month for CNN+.

They originally planned for the service to break even after four years.

Four, forty, four hundred. They’re all just numbers. It’s a fiery, but mostly peaceful disaster.

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