CNN+, the cable news giant’s new streaming platform, is launching Tuesday along with eight new daily shows that top brass promises are “different,” “distinctive”…and interactive.
CNN anchor Brian Stelter was joined on Sunday’s “Reliable Sources” podcast by CNN+ General Manager and Head of Product for CNN, Alex MacCallum, and CNN Executive VP, Chief Digital Officer and Head of CNN+, Andrew Morse, to give news junkies a preview of things to come. The trio broke down the differences between CNN and CNN+, what to expect… and not to expect.
“CNN is an icon of the cable and satellite age. But now, cable is competing with streaming. And there isn’t a streaming subscription service for TV news in the United States,” Stelter said in his introduction.
“… It’s a big deal in the media business because it’s the biggest bet any company has made in the news streaming world.”
As announced last July, CNN+’s lineup will feature several new shows, spanning news, travel, food, culture and more. Along with Stelter, star anchors and journalists such as Audie Cornish, Chris Wallace, Wolf Blitzer, Jake Tapper and Anderson Cooper are all set to host daily and/or weekly programs.
Stelter likened the paid subscription model to Netflix and HBO Max, but said “it’s different because you also get live news and interactive interviews.”
Without the commercial breaks and hard outs that structure cable news, CNN+ will allow for more flexibility concerning the length of its shows and segments, they promise. MacCallum laid out three goals for the new service.
“The first is efficiency. We want people to be able to watch what they want to watch, when they want to watch, where they want to watch it,” she said. “The second is live. So, we will have eight new shows every day, of best-in-class excellent programming. And the third thing is empowerment. We want to – with Interview Club – allow users and subscribers to really drive the conversation and go deep on the stories that really matter to them.”
Morse focused on how the platform is “different” and “distinctive.”
“With CNN+ having live programming and a massive on-demand library and this interactive platform gives users something that doesn’t exist,” he added. “So, it is truly unique.”
As an example, Stelter pulled up a preview of “Interview Club,” a program that allows users to type a question into the corner of the screen, which will then be fed to the hosts and be answered by experts.
Although CNN and CNN+ are different services, Morse emphasized that there will still be “a lot of interplay” between them, “because the audience and service is complimentary.” Yet they’re intended to serve different audience needs. Subscribers will be able to pick and choose what type and length of news shows they would like to consume, a model that allows for greater flexibility and customization.
Check out the video at the top for all the details.