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CNN+ Could See Significant Cuts After a Slow Start

CNN initially planned to invest around $1 billion in the streaming service over the next four years.

Eduardo Razo

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The initial investments that would play out over the next four years into CNN+ will reportedly be cut dramatically due to a low adoption rate. 

According to Axios, CNN initially planned to invest around $1 billion in the streaming service over the next four years. The report also states that $300 million has been spent on CNN+, including a sizable marketing investment.

Nonetheless, that will change as hundreds of millions of dollars are expected to be cut from that original investment total. In addition, the company’s new leadership team still has yet to decide the ultimate fate of CNN+ since the network’s new boss, Chris Licht, will start on May 1.

With assistance from consulting firm McKinsey, CNN leaders initially expected to bring in around 2 million subscribers in the U.S. in CNN+’s first year and then gradually bring 15-18 million subscribers after four years.

Axios adds that the subscriber expectations will need to be dramatically reduced if the investments are cut. However, there might be some glimmer of help that can boost the numbers as CNN+ launched this week on Roku, one of the largest smart TV companies in the country, which should help boost subscriber numbers.

Nonetheless, there is some criticism from within, as one top executive stated that there is a sense of disorder internally as to why the cable news channel didn’t move the launch of CNN+ until after the Discovery merger.

The same source told Axios that the debut of CNN+ felt hurried to stake a claim over the streaming service and the network’s future ahead of the merger. 

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Media Business

Local News Becoming Less Prevalent on Radio, New RTDNA Study Shows

68.4% of locally-owned operations air local news updates, while 54.1% of non-locally owned outlets do the same.

Barrett News Media

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RTDNA logo

Local news has been a focal point for radio stations for decades. But that may be fading away, a new RTDNA study shows.

65% of commercial stations still air local news in 2024, down slightly from 66.2% in 2023. Non-commercial stations have dropped 12% points in the past two years, down to just 60.7% airing local news.

However, the disconnect appears to come from locally owned stations versus non-locally owned. 68.4% of locally-owned operations air local news updates, while 54.1% of non-locally owned outlets do the same.

Not only are there drops in the number of stations broadcasting local news, but the airtime those updates occupy has also shrunk, according to the RTDNA study.

“The biggest drop in average minutes came in large markets, suggesting that fewer all news or news/talk stations there filled out the Survey this year,” the study states. “Medium markets are down a bit; small markets dropped an average of over 20 minutes per weekday.”

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Media Business

YouTube Largest Podcast Discovery Platform By Wide Margin, Westwood One Study Shows

Not only is the Google-owned video platform the most used among podcast newcomers, but it also holds that distinction for heavy podcast consumers and longtime podcast listeners.

Barrett News Media

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A photo of the YouTube logo displayed on a phone

In the span of three years, YouTube has gone from the third most popular podcast discovery platform to the top spot, a Westwood One study suggests.

In a study of more than 600 weekly podcast listeners, 31% say YouTube is the most utilized podcast listening platform. 21% say they use Spotify most frequently, while 12% claimed Apple Podcasts was their go-to destination.

Not only is the Google-owned video platform the most used among podcast newcomers, but it also holds that distinction for heavy podcast consumers and longtime podcast listeners.

YouTube’s podcast listening profile is slightly more male-dominated and also younger than the typical Apple Podcasts audience, according to the results from Westwood One Audio Active Group.

Naturally, the majority of Apple and Spotify users utilize smartphones to access their favorite podcasts, while 38% of YouTube’s audience uses computers and televisions for their favorite shows.

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Media Business

AM/FM Radio Still Largest Medium for Spoken Word Audio, Podcasting Closing Gap

 “Podcasting’s share of spoken word will almost surely surpass that of AM/FM within a few more years.”

Barrett News Media

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A photo of a podcast user's cell phone

AM/FM Radio has long been well-served by the news/talk format. That remains true in 2024, but podcasting has narrowed the gap.

According to the latest Edison Research Share of Ear study, 43% of spoken word audio listening is done on terrestrial radio. 36% is now done with on-demand podcasts, up from 13% in 2017.

 “Podcasting’s share of spoken word will almost surely surpass that of AM/FM within a few more years,” the company forecasts.

In the study, it also revealed that the broadcast radio advantage still rests with listeners older than 65, but has already been surpassed by younger demographics.

From respondents 13-64, 41% listen to spoken word in podcast form compared to 39% for AM/FM radio. But for those 65+, it’s still a 66%-13% advantage for broadcasting.

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