May 25, 2022

Launched on Tuesday, March 29, CNN+ is already performing poorly on individual mobile app installs. Sensor Tower published its first number (reported by Insider for the first time) indicating that the CNN app, which now has a new streaming service, added nearly 18,000 installs on launch day. During the seven days ending March 22, he averaged 9,000 installs per day.

The new CNN service includes daily news panels and documentaries such as Land of the Giants: Titans of Technology, Murdoch: Empire of Influence, as well as CNN hosts Anderson Cooper, Wolf Blitzer, Don Lemon, Jake Tupper and more.

Membership costs only $5.99 per month. In addition, CNN is offering new subscribers a limited-time deal and a 50% discount on their standard Life monthly subscription, which is only $2.99 ​​per month.

The company is hosting a high-priced launch event at South by Southwest and advertising during the Oscars broadcast, where the video costs $2.2 million. Leading up to its launch, CNN+ has spent about $322,000 in 2021, Kantara estimates, as noted by Insider.

A person familiar with the numbers told Insider that WarnerMedia spent a total of $100 million on CNN+ marketing, more than the network typically spends on marketing in a year. A CNN spokesperson said the launch budget is about $250 million.

By comparison, according to eMarketer, Disney spent about $135 million on Disney+ TV ads in the first half of 2020.

Sensor Tower predicts CNN app installs are up 33% to 77,000 in the first six days of CNN+ compared to the previous period. The CNN app has been installed 55.4 million times across the Apple and Google Play stores worldwide.

To be fair, mobile app downloads are only part of CNN+ adoption, not the full picture. The service is also available to watch on the web, Apple TV, and Fire TV, according to the website. It is possible that some customers only signed up through these platforms and not through their mobile devices. Because the company links CNN+ to the CNN app, user adoption rates are not reflected in new installs.

It’s also important to note that CNN+ launched without distribution agreements with telecoms Verizon and its sister TV platform, Roku, which has other major streamers. When WarnerMedia launched HBO Max almost two years ago, it was not only during the COVID-19 pandemic, but also without the support of the second most popular platform, Amazon Fire TV.

In terms of rankings, the CNN app jumped from 12th to third place in the news category on the Apple App Store, according to Apptopia, remaining at 181st on launch day.

Note that this isn’t a direct comparison, but according to Sensor Tower, the short-lived Quibi installed 300,000 apps on its first day and Disney+ reached 4 million subscribers. Wall Street said that Fox Nation had just 1.5 million paying customers three years after launch.

The cable news network is questioning whether people will pay for a streaming news app. “There will be individuals worthy of a low price,” said Brian Weiser, global president of business intelligence at GroupM. “The only problem is, how much will people pay for news personalities? At least it’s in the millions.”

News personalities aren’t the only reason people don’t use the service. It doesn’t help that former CNN president Jeff Zucker was forced to resign over a secret relationship with a colleague. The previous corporate structure no longer exists and Chris Licht, who replaced it, has yet to join the company.

Also questionable is the outcome of WarnerMedia’s April 11 mega-merger with Discovery. WarnerMedia CEO Jason Keeler left the company yesterday, leaving his legacy to David Zaslav of Discovery Inc., with uncertainty about the future of CNN+, HBO Max and Discovery+.

In an interview with TechCheck CNBC, Killar suggested offering the service as a separate option bundled with HBO Max. It’s unclear how that view will change after the merger, as Keeler left the company.

A spokesman for the company said in a statement:

this is us Everything Happy with the launch of CNN+ and our first week far exceeded all expectations. Our viewers have already shown love and interest in our programs and we will continue to serve them even more. We cannot comment on subscriber numbers as they are currently not publicly available.

killaro discussed The numbers were released yesterday on CNBC, noting that the app has exceeded all expectations. CNN EPP Andrew Morse shared a similar sentiment.

It is possible that CNN+ subscriber numbers will be released during future Discovery revenue calls. The company noted that CNN Digital already has a large reach, averaging 144 million unique users per month in 2021.

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