The streaming platform, launched a few weeks before the merger, will stop operating on April 30.
As soon as the merger between WarnerMedia and Discovery was approved, the fate of CNN + was written. The streaming platform, launched at the end of March, will stop operating on April 30.
According to Variety, the new CEO of Warner Bros Discovery (WBD), David Zaslav, was upset from the start with Discovery’s decision, when it was still owned by AT&T, to launch CNN+ while the merger negotiations with Warner Bros. This is why its fate was known if it ended up being carried out, as it happened two weeks ago.
CNN+ will return the money to its subscribers. The platform was priced at $5.00 per month.
“This decision is in line with WBD’s broader direct-to-consumer strategy,” said J.B. Perrete, CEO and President of Global Streaming and Interactive Entertainment at WBD, in a statement. “In a complex streaming market, consumers want simplicity and an all-in service which provides a better experience and more value than stand-alone offerings.”
CNN invested millions of dollars in its new platform, adding new executives from different areas of the industry and creating an important group of talent, with in-house journalists and important firms from other areas. The closure comes when some shows haven’t even had a chance to debut.
According to figures shared by Variety, CNN+ had managed to reach between 100,000 and 150,000 subscribers in its first weeks, on the way to reaching its annual goal, with some programs achieving excellent numbers and important journalistic products.
“This is not a decision about quality; we appreciate all of the work, ambition and creativity that went into building CNN+, an organisation with terrific talent and compelling programming. But our customers and CNN will be best served with a simpler streaming choice,” added Perrete.
The decision is accompanied by the departure of Andrew Morse, VPE and chief digital officer of CNN Worldwide and head of CNN +. Alex MacCallum, general manager of CNN+, will take on the role of leading CNN Digital. The executive also served as Head of Product at CNN Worldwide.