CNN+, the broadcast network's streaming service that was launched just 21 days ago, will be shut down, according to Variety Digital Editor Todd Spangler.
CNN had initially planned to invest around $1 billion in the streaming service over the next four years, but as was reported by Axios, the total was expected to be cut by hundreds of millions. It now appears as though the project will be stopped completely, however.
According to reports, around $300 million was spent on the streaming service, which launched on March 29. This amount reportedly includes a sizable marketing investment.
CNN executives had originally expected to bring in around 2 million subscribers in the US in the service's first year, and a total of 15-18 million after a period of four years.
According to sources that spoke with CNBC though, fewer than 10,000 people were using CNN+ on a daily basis two weeks after its launch and an extensive ad campaign.
According to a report by Axios released on Wednesday, the service "suspended all external marketing spend for CNN+ and has laid off CNN's longtime chief financial officer as it weighs what to do with the subscription streaming service moving forward."
An email reportedly sent from CNN reads: "Today Warner Bros. Discovery and CNN are announcing that we have decided to cease operations at CNN+, effective April 30. I want to share my perspective with you before the news breaks.
"This decision is in line with WBD's broader direct-to-consumer strategy. In a complex streaming market, consumers want simplicity and an all-in service, which provides a better experience and more value than stand-alone offerings. Let me be clear: this move is in no way a reflection of the talented and hardworking people who poured their heart and soul into building and flawlessly launching CNN+ in a very short period of time.
This is a breaking story and will be updated.
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