Streaming Wars could become free for all

Thursday, Warner Bros. Discovery has announced that it will shut down its CNN+ streaming service just weeks after its debut.


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Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A year ago, we would have emptied our bank accounts to be able to broadcast anything. Chess, but sexy. Dating prosthetic beasts. Criminal tiger trainer. 80s alien tarantula, upside down. Give it to us, all at the same time.

Now America seems sunk. Netflix NFLX Actions -1.24%

had its worst day on the stock market since 2004 on Wednesday after the streaming giant said it lost subscribers for the first quarter in more than a decade. Things are apparently so grim that the company, which has marketed itself as an ad-free haven for years, also said it would explore a low-cost, ad-supported version of the platform.

It better be cheap. Thursday, Warner Bros. Discovery WBD -4.10%

said he would shut down his CNN+ streaming service just weeks after his debut. Its price of $5.99 per month was considered “prohibitive” by company executives, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The Journal reported that Warner Bros. had invested around $300 million in the streaming project, amassing less than 100,000 subscribers.

That’s at least not as much as Pershing Square’s loss of over $400 million to Netflix. After proudly tweeting in January that he had recently bought more than 3 million shares of Netflix, Pershing founder Bill Ackman said in a letter to investors on Wednesday that he had sold the position, having “lost confidence” in the ability of his fund to predict the future of the company. prospects.

Considering we were all still set to watch Bridgerton’s second act, even without a shirtless Regé-Jean Page, it’s truly grim.

Write to Laura Forman at [email protected]

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Appeared in the April 23, 2022 print edition as “OVERHEARD”.

Christy J. Olson