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CNNPlus: Will you watch CNN live through their new streaming platform?

The ongoing streaming wars set their sights on news networks this week, as headlines across the board lit up with some major developments concerning the networks which have had a hard time keeping up. As services like Netflix & HBO Max have thrived as audiences have gone toward full streaming, news networks like Fox & MSNBC relying on cable subscriptions seem lost in the wind.

However, some of the major news networks seem to be keeping up with the times, as this week buzz about CNN’s upcoming streaming subscription CNNPlus is making waves on the web. Subscriptions for streaming news networks are practically unknown territory, and streaming fans are wondering just what a news network’s subscription platform would look like.

Keeping up

The Hollywood Reporter published a story on news networks’ struggle to keep up with the changing times of streaming this week, pointing out what a banner year major news networks have had. We mean, think about it – 2020 was hardly a slow news year.

However, even with the massive surge of news coming from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the George Floyd protests, and the 2020 United States Presidential Election, the cable news networks reporting on these historical effects are still in the midst of a downward spiral. So many people get their news from Twitter & exploration on the web, and we can only imagine news networks have taken a substantial hit.

Now, cable networks like MSNBC, Fox, and most recently CNN are planning for a world without cable, where nearly every user relies on subscription services for both their entertainment & news needs. CNN seems to be leaning into the change, as fans will be able to watch CNN live with the upcoming CNNPlus app, and live news won’t be the only thing the service offers.

CNN on demand

Reports say details about the upcoming CNNPlus app in which you’ll be able to watch CNN live are hard to come by, but the service is said to have a mix of live streaming & on-demand programming. 

With a CNNPlus subscription, you’ll be able to watch CNN live, as well as tune into some of CNN’s shows featuring star hosts like Anderson Cooper & Don Lemon.

Former CNN president Jon Klein seems excited about the upcoming CNNPlus app, quoted saying, “the beauty of streaming is that you can have near-perfect knowledge of your audience, in a way that cable distribution has never allowed. That is the pot of gold waiting at the end of the streaming rainbow for news networks”. Furthermore, CNN isn’t the only network which has Klein’s thoughts in mind.


Users will be able to watch CNN live with CNNPlus, but the app won’t be the only streaming service coming from a major news network. Reports say MSNBC & Fox are following right along with their own upcoming streaming platforms.

Fox News has been streaming for a minute, but only overseas through its Fox News International service. Fox launched its streaming service Fox Nation back in 2018, but only began streaming its primetime shows this month, following in line with CNNPlus’s strategy to allow users to watch CNN live along with its syndicated shows.

MSNBC, on the other hand, is falling in line with its parent company NBCUniversal’s strategy, offering up its news programs through NBC’s new(ish) Peacock app which launched last July. Peacock offers daily live news, like CNN Plus is set to provide users alongside on-demand programming. 

It’s hard to say if news networks’ shift toward streaming will provide them the same success as apps like Hulu & Netflix, but with cable subscriptions declining, streaming seems the only course of action. Will you sign up for CNNPlus, or stick to Twitter for daily stories? Sound off in the comments below!

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