CNN will launch its streaming service, CNN+, next year, the network announced Monday. The outlet will debut in the first quarter of 2022. “CNN invented cable news in 1980, defined online news in 1995 and now is taking an important step in expanding what news can be by launching a direct-to-consumer streaming subscription service in 2022,” said Jeff Zucker, Chairman of WarnerMedia News and Sports and President of CNN Worldwide, in a statement.
CNN is the last major news network join the SVOD trend as a result of rising demand in news streaming. NBC News and Today recently reported positive feedback after launching on Peacock, while Fox Nation has added Fox News primetime shows, as well as non-news shows, and saw similar results. Similarly, CBS News’ early ad-supported streaming service CBSN hit 1 billion streams in 2020.
The service will feature 8 to 12 hours of daily original programming, both live and on-demand. A press release emphasized that it will be “separate and distinct” from CNN, CNN International, HLN, and CNN en Español linear TV channels. The CNN streaming service reportedly will be tapping NBC News and MSNBC personality Kasie Hunt as one of its on-screen hosts.
According to Chief Digital Officer for CNN Worldwide, Andrew Morse, the network is still considering the cost of the service, but will not implement an ad-supported strategy into the project. The network didn’t provide any specific programming information but Monday’s release made clear it would involve contributions from existing CNN talent as well as entries from the network’s catalog of series and documentaries including past seasons of “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” and “Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy."
Morse revealed that CNN is looking to hire 450 people in the next 6-9 months to support CNN Plus. In addition, he noted the network's lack of political bias for its content. “No, it’s not going to be ideological,” said Morse. “We’re just not in that game. We’re not an opinion network, we’re a news network.”
CNN invented cable news in 1980, defined online news in 1995 and now is taking an important step in expanding what news can be by launching a direct-to-consumer streaming subscription service in 2022. ” Jeff Zucker Chairman, WarnerMedia News and Sports and President, CNN Worldwide