Cable news behemoth CNN said Monday it is joining the ever-crowded streaming marketplace, adding its CNN Plus service sometime in the first quarter, according to a press release. The new service “complements the core CNN linear networks and digital platforms to serve CNN superfans, news junkies and fans of quality non-fiction programming.”
Conspicuously missing from the press release was any mention of how much the service will cost, and a spokeswoman declined to provide further details. According to Variety, the company is still determining the price for CNN Plus, but there will be no ad-supported version of the service at launch. It will launch in the US only, and CNN expects to hire 450 people over the next six to nine months, Variety reports.
The company says CNN will continue to have a single app where CNN Plus subscribers will be able to access CNN Plus programming. The app will include CNN’s linear television feeds, available to paid TV subscribers. If those subscribers want to “maximize their experience, they can also subscribe to CNN Plus, to access the full CNN Plus programming all in one place,” the release says. A CNN spokeswoman clarified that CNN Plus subscribers do not have access to the TVE feeds of CNN’s cable channels, and CNN Plus is a standalone direct-to-consumer product.
CNN Plus will have original, live, on-demand, and interactive programming separate and distinct from CNN’s linear channels, the company says. At launch the service will have a “deep library of non-fiction, long form programming,” that includes past seasons of CNN shows like Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy, This is Life with Lisa Ling, and United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell. The service will add new original programming to be announced later this year.
Andrew Morse, CNN Worldwide chief digital officer, will be the executive in charge of CNN Plus.