The news: CNN+ will make its appearance at the end of March with an introductory price of $2.99 a month–a rate that early members will keep as long as they maintain an active account–and $5.99 a month after the promotion ends, per the Los Angeles Times.
More on this: CNN+ will provide 8 to 12 hours of daily original programming, both live and on-demand. Shows will be led by newly hired high-profile journalists such as former Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, former MSNBC host Kasie Hunt, and ex-NPR star Audie Cornish.
Zoom out: 73.1% of US internet users consume subscription OTT video, per our forecast, the greatest percentage of any region projected—but China has three times as many streaming subscription users overall. And most growth is happening outside of North America, with the Middle East and Africa growing at 22.4%.
CNN plus or minus? Zucker, who was also thought to be close to Zaslav, was a strong supporter of CNN and CNN+. It’s unknown how committed Licht will be to the strategy laid out by Zucker.
Will subscribers pony up? With an increasing number of subscriptions to manage, there’s a question of how much consumers are willing to pay in total to stream video content. Netflix recently hiked its plans, making them more expensive than HBO Max’s ad-free tier or bundling Disney+, Hulu (ad-supported), and ESPN+.
Zaslav recently announced that the combined Warner Bros. Discovery could soon offer a free ad-supported tier for its unified streaming service—cementing the idea that a greater percentage of revenue growth may come from advertising, not incremental subscriptions, in the near future.
Content competition: Given the price sensitivity of the average consumer, streamers are fighting over content rights in an effort to avoid churn.