CNN+ and Delusions of Relevance

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Did you know that CNN+ even existed?

One month. These guys gave it a go and CNN+ threw in the towel in their first month of existence.

And I can’t help but be intrigued by the whole story.

Another Streaming Service?


First, it seems like everyone and their mother is creating a new streaming service these days. And it’s a giant mess.

We don’t need all of these. We don’t need half of these! And I’m afraid at some point there will be too many, so much so that they’ll all flop under the pressure. And we’ll be left with nothing.

But the timing is also very odd.

It made sense to make a streaming service a year or two ago. We were all trapped in our homes with not all that much to do. And many people had expendable wealth. They weren’t traveling or eating out. Might as well get another streaming service!

But what about now? You might still cower in fear that the all-mighty Corona will still snatch your soul. But it seems like most of the world has moved on. They’re out spending their money on tacos and trips to Thailand again. They don’t necessarily want to spend six hours on the couch watching thirty different streaming services.

So why the hell are you still creating new ones?

Life Post-Corona


Some of us speculated the pandemic brought a new world order. Netflix and Peleton and Zoom would take over, and once they latched themselves onto you for two years, there was no going back.

But we were so very wrong. They were temporary hits, perfect for a challenging period we are starting to see trickle away. Their stocks are all plummeting, and it looks like people don’t want to spend their time watching Korean people get shot by giant dolls, children getting sucked under treadmills, or accidentally turned on cat filters.

We’re evolving.

But some are stuck in the recent past. And they think the secret to massive success is adding yet another streaming service to the world.

But CNN’s obsession with the past was not their only mistake.

The world does not need more streaming services. Arguably, it needs fewer.

We were content in a world with just Netflix. We enjoyed the addition of a few more possibilities. And we became overwhelmed when the few became many. No one wants all of this. No one can afford all of this. And frankly, we all need to get off our asses at least sometimes!

But there are particularly striking and confusing details of this specific blunder.

Paying for News?


Print media is already suffering from the mass availability of free news resources. And in a world where all current events are just a simple click away, did CNN really believe we wanted to pay for more news availability?

Personally, I’m satisfied with a few daily newsletter emails, and checking a couple of sites when something enormous is happening. But even then my goals are: Free and convenient. Hell, if a site asks me to shut off an ad blocker, I’ll usually look for a new site. So I’m not the type of person who’s going to shell out cash monthly to get more news.

I’m sure there are plenty of folk like me out there. And I know more than a few people who are far less interested in a daily dose of knowing what’s going on in the world.

We’re willing to pay some extra money here and there to laugh our asses off during a fantastic comedy or enjoy the adrenaline rush of a solid action flick. And we’ll indulge for hours. But when it comes to the news, we want just the right amount. And damn it, we want it free!

But there’s something else going on here. And that’s CNN’s blatant lack of touch with their lack of importance.

No One Likes CNN Anymore


I have very little respect for most news outlets these days. They wear their biases on their sleeves, and that’s not what I believe the news is meant for. Nevertheless, some do it with pride, out in the open, demonstrating to the world their viewpoint.

And then you have CNN. They pretend like they’re a balanced news agency, presenting us with the facts so we can gather our own opinions. But very few people left in the world believe this at all. They contemplate CNN, and they assume a blatant agenda. And for whatever reason, CNN doesn’t even know that we’re all on to them.

They also pretend like they are extremely important. Or maybe it’s not pretending. Maybe it’s delusion. But when I watch CNN go on a vicious assault against the likes of Joe Rogan, I think they believe it will have a massive impact. And that Rogan will fall apart, and cower into an apologetic ball because he has dared to mess with the mighty CNN.

Yet their attempts failed and failed hard. And Joe Rogan’s podcast rocks on, with millions upon millions of daily satisfied listeners. While CNN+ collapses under its own insignificance in a month.

The Inevitable Failure of CNN+


CNN, you’re an embarrassment. You used to represent something vital to the people of the world. And now you’re the butt of countless jokes. And those jokes come from every direction, even though you think of yourself as a friend to the left. Incompetence and bias are not rewarded. Your people didn’t come to your aid. They watched CNN+ die a quick death alongside the rest of us.

I don’t wish ill upon CNN. And the service of CNN+ may have been fantastic, a resource we all just lost out on. Tons of jobs were lost, and that is obviously a crying shame. But none of this exempts us from trying to explore how we got here. It’s not because some people created a bad product. That we’ll never know! And it’s not because people don’t crave knowledge of what’s going on around them.

It’s because of crappy and uninformed timing, and a complete lack of self-awareness. People’s lives were hurt by the launching of a product destined for failure. Every drip of that was preventable. CNN, it’s time for you to take a peek into yourself. You may not like what you find. But you and everyone else are still better off for it.

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