Consumers have reached ‘peak’ subscription for TV and film—how should Chris Licht move forward?
On April 30, the subscription-only streaming service CNN+ will shutter for good. In what incoming CNN chief Chris Licht called a “uniquely shitty situation,” the newly merged Warner Bros. Discovery raised the white flag on three-week-old CNN+ before letting it be routed in the streaming wars. Uncoincidentally, Netflix announced two days prior that it lost subscribers for the first time in a decade—and shed 35% of its market value on the news.
The fate of CNN+ reflects the wider struggle in streaming to find a reliable business model. I stand by my opinion that the model better be ad-supported if Warner Bros. Discovery wants CNN to have a profitable future—inside or outside a streaming bundle with HBO Max and Discovery+.
That bundle would outperform CNN+, which allegedly had 10,000 daily viewers.