CNN Plus is apparently having trouble gaining viewers just two weeks after its debut, according to a CNBC report. According to those acquainted with the situation, the site receives less than 10,000 daily visitors.
As CNBC points out, this is a significant drop from CNN’s cable network’s daily audience of 773,000 people each day last year. CNN Plus, on the other hand, is clearly new – CNN’s TV channel has been around for a long time, and it’s (usually) free for anybody with cable or satellite connection.
However, a recent analysis by Insider paints a bleak picture of these figures. Insider uncovered that on the day CNN Plus launched, the CNN app, which users must download to utilize the streaming service, only received 18,000 new installations, according to SensorTower data. CNN app downloads increased by 70,000 six days later, although it’s difficult to say how many of these were for CNN alone or CNN Plus, as Insider points out. Although the service only launched on Roku on Monday, it may not be enough to significantly increase viewing.
In a response to CNBC, a CNN representative stated, “We continue to be pleased with the debut and its development after only two weeks.” CNN did not answer to The Verge’s request for comment right away.
Low viewership numbers, combined with a dearth of exciting material (unless you’re into on-demand news and documentaries), give Quibi — the short-lived service that lasted fewer than six months — major Quibi vibes. Quibi announced 5.6 million downloads three months after launch, despite losing 90% of its users once their three-month free trials expired. CNN Plus hasn’t stated how many subscribers it has, but the early signs aren’t good. By the end of 2021, Disney Plus had around 130 million customers and had surpassed 86 million subscribers less than a year after its launch.
CNN Plus went live on March 29th for $5.99 a month or $59.99 per year. It has a news-heavy programming, with shows from Anderson Cooper, Audie Cornish, and Chris Wallace, a former Fox News anchor. It also offers interactive Q&A sessions in order to broaden the scope of the service beyond merely news.
CNN’s parent company, WarnerMedia, just concluded a massive merger with Discovery, which would ultimately combine HBO Max and Discovery Plus into one app. CNN president Jeff Zucker departed just before the debut of CNN Plus, while WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar quit just last week.