Monday, September 25, 2023

CNN Plus reportedly draws less than 10,000 viewers a day

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CNN Plus is reportedly struggling to gain viewers within two weeks of launch, according to a report from CNBC† People familiar with the matter told the outlet that the platform only takes in less than 10,000 viewers per day.

As CNBC points out, this is a huge drop from the daily viewership of CNN’s cable network, which is a average of 773,000 viewers per day last year. But it’s clear that CNN Plus is still new – CNN’s TV channel has been around for many years, and it’s (usually) free to anyone with cable or satellite service.

A recent report from Insider doesn’t make these numbers any better, though. Using data collected by sensor towerInsider found that the CNN app, which users must download to use CNN Plus, only got 18,000 new installs on the day the streaming service launched. CNN app installs grew 70,000 six days later, but as Insider comments, it’s hard to say how many of these downloads were just for CNN or CNN Plus. The service just arrived at Roku on Monday, but that may not be enough to increase viewership by a significant margin.

“We remain happy with its launch and its progress after just two weeks,” a CNN spokesperson said in a statement to CNBC. CNN did not immediately respond to The edge‘s request for comment.

Low ratings coupled with a lack of entertaining content (unless you’re into on-demand news and documentaries) make for serious Quibi vibes — the ephemeral service that lasted less than six months. Notably, Quibi lost 90 percent of its subscribers after their three-month free trial ended, reporting 5.6 million downloads three months after launch. CNN Plus hasn’t disclosed the subscriber count, but these early numbers aren’t the most promising. For reference, Disney Plus had nearly 130 million subscribers by the end of 2021, surpassing 86 million subscribers in less than a year of its existence.

CNN Plus launched on March 29 and costs $5.99/month or $59.99/year. It features a news-rich lineup that includes shows from Anderson Cooper, Audie Cornish, and former Fox News anchor Chris Wallace. It also offers interactive question-and-answer sessions to make the service more than it’s just about instant news

WarnerMedia, CNN’s parent company, completed a major merger with Discovery earlier this month, a move that will eventually combine HBO Max and Discovery Plus into one app. Shortly before the launch of CNN Plus, CNN President Jeff Zucker resigned and last week WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar left the company.

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