Warner Bros. Discovery faced a projected loss of about $1 billion over the next four years before CNN Plus would have turned a profit, according to internal CNN projections obtained and published by Axios.
WBD abruptly shut the subscription streaming service down last week after just 33 days in the market. At the time, CNN Plus had only gathered around 150,000 paid users. Consider that Quibi, heretofore the poster child for failed streaming launches, had more than 900,000 subscribers over about the same span.
CNN's internal projections called for CNN Plus to break even by 2025 and earn an annual profit of around $800 million by 2030. At that time, CNN forecasted the SVOD service to have around 30 million paid subscribers.
With WBD set to shell out a full-year loss of $400 in 2022 alone, and the service off to a gravely disappointing start, the new management team made what appears to be a sound decision to cut its losses.
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Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!