CNN Plus would attract less than 10,000 viewers a day

CNN Plus is reportedly struggling to gain viewers just two weeks after its launch, according to a CNBC report. People familiar with the matter told the outlet that the platform only attracts less than 10,000 viewers per day.

As CNBC notes, this is a huge drop from the daily viewership of CNN’s cable network, which saw an average of 773,000 viewers per day last year. But, of course, CNN Plus is still new – CNN’s TV channel has been around for many years, and it’s (usually) free to anyone with cable or satellite service.

A recent report from Initiated doesn’t make those numbers any prettier, though. Using data compiled by SensorTower, Initiated found that the CNN app, which users must download to use CNN Plus, only gained 18,000 new installs on the streaming service’s launch day. CNN app installs increased by 70,000 six days later, but as Initiated notes, it’s hard to say how many of those downloads were for CNN alone or CNN Plus. The service just arrived on Roku on Monday, but that might not be enough to boost viewership significantly.

“We continue to be pleased with the launch and its progress after just two weeks,” a CNN spokesperson said in a statement to CNBC. CNN did not immediately respond to The edgerequest for comment.

Low viewing rates coupled with a lack of entertaining content (unless you like on-demand news and documentaries) give off serious Quibi vibes – the short-lived service that lasted less than six months. Quibi notably lost 90% of its subscribers after their three-month free trials ended and reported 5.6 million downloads three months after launch. CNN Plus didn’t reveal its subscriber count, but those early numbers aren’t the most promising. For reference, Disney Plus had almost 130 million subscribers at the end of 2021 and managed to surpass 86 million subscribers less than a year after its existence.

CNN Plus launched on March 29 and costs $5.99/month or $59.99/year. It features news-rich programming that features shows from Anderson Cooper, Audie Cornish and former Fox News anchor Chris Wallace. It also offers interactive question-and-answer sessions with the aim of making the service more than be fair about direct news.

WarnerMedia, CNN’s parent company, just completed a major merger with Discovery earlier this month, a move that will eventually combine HBO Max and Discovery Plus into a single app. Shortly before the launch of CNN Plus, CNN Chairman Jeff Zucker resigned and last week WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar left the company.

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