CNN introducing a new streaming service CNN+

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Credit: CNN

The network is planning to hire new 450 people in the next six to nine months for the service.

CNN, bowing to the realities of shifting viewing habits, is introducing a subscription service called CNN+ starting next year.

The “+” sign has become de rigeur for many subscription services including Apple TV+, BET+, AMC+, Disney+ and ESPN+.

In a press release, CNN said the content on the new service will serve CNN “superfans, news junkies and fans of quality non-fiction programming.”

Jeff Zucker, president of CNN, in the release, said “we will offer consumers a streaming product that grows the reach and scope of the CNN brand in a way that no one else is doing. Nothing like this exists.”

CNN+ will open with 8 to 12 hours a day of new content separate from what it offers on its cable networks. It will also provide access to past episodes of its many non-fiction series including “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown,” “This is Life with Lisa Ling,” “United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell” and “Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy.”

CNN is also planning original series and films just for CNN+.

The network, which still has major operations in Atlanta but whose top executives and most major anchors are based in New York, did not say how much this extra service will cost.

It also didn’t announce any specific shows.

CNN Worldwide chief digital officer Andrew Morse, who will oversee the new service, told Variety that he considers this “the single biggest launch that CNN has had since Ted Turner launched the network in June of 1980. The stakes are that high for us.”

Morse said he is looking to hire 450 people in the next six to nine months to support CNN+. It’s unclear how many will be based in Atlanta.

Fox News offers Fox Nation, a subscription service which launched in 2018 and costs $5.99 a month. Fox has not released how many subscribers pay for Fox Nation.

MSNBC is piggybacking on Peacock, the NBCUniversal streaming service, to provide additional content on The Choice by MSNBC channel. This includes “Morning Mika,” a news and commentary program hosted by “Morning Joe” co-host Mike Brzezinski.

Dan Rayburn, a streaming media expert and principal analyst at Frost & Sullivan, a market research company out of Santa Clara, Calif., said he’s skeptical there is any tangible demand for these types of services focused on news.

“I feel as a consumer personally, we are already overwhelmed with free resources to get news,” he said. “What content tied to news will I pay for every month? I can’t come up with it.”

This is not the first time CNN has tried a subscription video service. Back in 2005, it introduced CNN Pipeline, which offered news without ads for a small fee. But that model lasted only about 18 months before CNN disbanded it.

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