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The Rise and Fall of CNN+: Lessons Learned for the Streaming Industry

CNN+ as a Premium Streaming Service

Are you a news hound? Do you love getting the latest information on what’s happening in the world today?

Then CNN+ is the perfect streaming service for you. CNN+ is a premium streaming service that offers a variety of documentaries, TV shows, and original content for its subscribers.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what CNN+ has to offer and why it’s worth the subscription fee. What is CNN+?

CNN+ is a premium streaming service that offers subscribers in-depth documentaries, exclusive interviews with world leaders and celebrities, live and on-demand broadcasts of CNN programming, and much more. It’s much like other streaming services like Netflix or Hulu, except with a focus on news and information.

One of the key features of CNN+ is its exclusive content. Viewers can expect to see unique interviews with people like former President Barack Obama, celebrities like Dolly Parton, and more.

They will also have access to documentaries like “The Lost Sons,” a true-crime story about a kidnapping in the 1960s. CNN+ offers viewers access to a range of programming on demand.

From breaking news to archived footage, viewers can get the news they need when they want it. Additionally, CNN+ offers live broadcasting of the CNN network, so viewers can get up-to-the-minute news from around the world.

Why Choose CNN+? There are plenty of reasons to choose CNN+ over other streaming services.

For starters, CNN+ offers an exclusive focus on news and information. Other streaming services like Netflix and Hulu offer entertainment in addition to news, which may not be what you’re looking for.

CNN+ offers programming that is difficult to find anywhere else. In-depth documentaries, live news broadcasts, and interviews with world leaders and celebrities are just some of the unique content that CNN+ offers its subscribers.

And because it’s a streaming service, you can watch on your own schedule. Another advantage of CNN+ is the lack of pesky advertisements.

While traditional news broadcasts are often overpowered by ads, CNN+ is ad-free, providing an uninterrupted viewing experience.

Subscription Fees

Subscribing to CNN+ requires a monthly fee. The pricing is $6.99 per month plus tax, or $69.99 per year plus tax.

When you compare this to traditional cable subscriptions, it’s a fraction of the cost. Plus, with the ability to watch on your own schedule, CNN+ is more convenient than cable news.


CNN+ is an excellent choice for those who enjoy keeping up with the latest news and staying informed. With access to unique content and live broadcasts, it’s a convenient way to stay up to date on worldwide events.

The subscription fees are affordable, and the lack of advertisements makes for a more pleasant viewing experience. If you’re looking for a streaming service that offers news and information, CNN+ is worth the investment.

CNN+ was launched in 2022 as a streaming platform to offer a new source of news and entertainment to its viewers. The platform promised to provide an entirely new level of CNN content, including documentaries, live news coverage, and exclusive interviews with world leaders and celebrities.

The History of CNN+ Development and Launch

CNN+ was first announced in November 2021, and the launch was slated for the following year, January 2022. The development of CNN+ was indicative of a changing media landscape, with viewers increasingly turning to streaming services instead of traditional cable networks.

The CNN+ platform was the result of years of planning and investment from CNN and its parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery.

The company invested heavily in the platforms development, aiming to make it a noteworthy competitor to other streaming services in the market. CNN+ was designed to offer a unique viewing experience.

Its programming lineup promised to include international news and local stories, allowing viewers to stay up-to-date on events happening around the world. Additionally, it promised to provide exclusive original content and documentaries covering a range of topics.

Why Did CNN+ Fail? Despite the significant investment and development, CNN+ failed to gain traction among viewers.

The platform struggled due to several factors that ultimately led to its shutdown in March 2022.

Low Subscriber Numbers and Adoption

One of the primary reasons for the failure of CNN+ was its inability to attract and retain subscribers. The platform did not see the expected subscription numbers, with only a fraction of their target audience signing up for the service.

This was partly due to the fact that viewers had a wide range of options for streaming services, and CNN+ was not able to differentiate itself from the competition effectively.

Extensive Cost Projections

CNN+ also failed due to extensive cost projections that were inaccurate. Resources were allocated towards expensive infrastructure and technology that was not required for the initial launch.

This led to significant financial losses and additional costs that the company was not prepared to absorb.

Change in Leadership

CNN+ faced another blow when its leadership changed. CEO of CNN Jeff Zucker, who led the development of the platform, resigned shortly after its launch.

Zucker was a major force behind CNN+ and was expected to remain in the role until Warner Bros. Discoverys CEO, David Zaslav, announced his departure.

However, Zucker resigned shortly after the announcement, leading to a leadership vacuum that significantly impacted the platform.


The competition proved to be another major factor. Streaming giants Netflix, Disney, and Amazon already had a significant foothold in the market.

They had already developed and perfected the art of offering exclusive original content, and so CNN+ had to compete with established giants offering similar content. It made it difficult for the platform to stand out from the competition.

Shifting Strategic Goals at Warner Bros. Discovery

The final nail in the coffin for CNN+ was the shifting strategic goals for Warner Bros.

Discovery. Following the merger of the two companies, Warner Bros.

Discovery shifted its focus to cost-cutting instead of investing in new initiatives. This shift in goals made it more challenging for CNN+ to continue its operations as a cost-cutting measure.


In the end, CNN+ failed due to a combination of factors, including low subscriber numbers, extensive cost projections, leadership changes, competition, and shifting strategic goals. While the platform promised to offer a unique viewing experience, it ultimately failed to differentiate itself from established competitors.

The platform’s closure was an essential lesson for players in the streaming service industry that competitors have already built significant presence and differentiation is critical. In conclusion, CNN+ was a premium streaming service that failed to attract and retain subscribers due to various factors.

These factors include low subscriber numbers, extensive cost projections, leadership changes, competition, and shifting strategic goals. The failure of CNN+ serves as a learning experience for players in the streaming service industry and highlights the importance of market differentiation, leadership stability, and accurate cost projections.

As the streaming market continues to grow, it is important for companies to carefully assess market competition and provide unique viewer experiences that stand out from established competitors.

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