What Was CNN+, and Why Did It Shut Down?

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Recently, CNN announced the upcoming shutdown of CNN+, the news network’s on-demand streaming platform. With the growing popularity of streaming services, a wide variety of television and news services have started similar platforms, but why didn’t CNN+ work out?

Was this a failure or simply a redirection for the company? Read on below to find out.

What was CNN+?

CNN+ was CNN’s recent attempt to break into the streaming industry. The service was launched on March 29th of this year and will be shutting down on April 30th after an underwhelming start and various changes within WarnerMedia, CNN’s parent company.

Streaming services have become the norm in television over the last few years, with reports estimating that they’ve overtaken cable television in terms of number of viewers. While CNN+ will no longer run, CNN will still have offerings in the streaming industry through an upcoming service with Discovery.

WarnerMedia’s merger with Discovery

Early this month, CNN’s parent company WarnerMedia merged with Discovery to form Warner Bros. Discovery. This merger put the company under new management, which ultimately made the decision to shut down CNN+.

Among this new management is Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav, who has announced plans to combine all of the newly merged company’s brands under one streaming service, and the recommendation to shut CNN+ down likely came because of this plan. Details about this new service haven’t been made public yet.

CNN+ head leaving the company

Andrew Morse, the head of CNN+ and general manager of CNN Digital Worldwide, will be leaving CNN following a transition period. CNN+ general manager and head of product Alex MacCallum will be stepping up to lead CNN Digital Worldwide. Morse hasn’t yet announced plans for where he’ll be going next.

CNN’s new head, Chris Licht, will officially begin his position there on May 1. He is reportedly the one who made the recommendation to shut down CNN+. Licht was formerly the executive vice president of special programming for CBS, as well as the showrunner and executive producer of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.

Will subscribers get their money back?

When the platform shuts down, CNN+ subscribers will be refunded a prorated amount based on when they began their subscription. There’s no need for subscribers to take steps to be refunded as the transaction will happen automatically. Anyone interested in continuing to watch CNN’s on-demand streaming should stay up-to-date on any new developments by Warner Bros. Discover.

What’s next for CNN digital?

The majority of the programming on CNN+ will most likely continue to run, whether on CNN’s live television station or through Warner Bros. Discover’s upcoming streaming platform. It hasn’t yet been made public where individual shows will be sent, but more information will surely come in the next few weeks or months.

Overall, this doesn’t mean that CNN+ was necessarily a failure, but that it didn’t align with the business plan for the newly merged Warner Bros. Discover.

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