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AT&T CEO John Stankey Confirms CNN+ Plans, Wants to ‘Keep Pushing Ahead’

Aubrey Meister

AT&T CEO John Stankey confirmed that a standalone news streaming service, CNN+, is in the works. Not only did he reveal that it’s happening, but it sounds like it won’t be too long before it officially launches. Stankey appeared at the Economic Club in Washington, D.C. on Thursday. He said, “There’s been some rumors in the media about us launching a direct-to-consumer, CNN Plus news product, that will in fact occur. We’ll keep pushing ahead with those things. So my view is we won’t be waiting, we’ll be executing.”

Though Stankey seems to be committed to “pushing ahead” with CNN+, few details have been revealed, so it’s not known exactly what the streaming service will look like and how it will compare to its competitors. The streaming market is very competitive, so the company will need to work a little harder to set CNN+ apart. Fox News launched a standalone streaming service, Fox Nation, which seems to be one of the closest competitors to CNN+. Fox Nation hasn’t been too successful yet, with only an estimated 210,000 daily viewers, which is a fifth of Fox News’ daily viewers, according to Apptopia. To be successful, CNN+ will have to give CNN viewers a reason to pay for the streaming service instead of watching the TV channel.

Earlier this month, The Wall Street Journal revealed more details about the streaming service. It will feature content that’s unique from the CNN TV channel. Some of the content will be hosted by current CNN anchors, including Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon. The company was reportedly making “hundreds” of hires to create all of the new programming needed to make CNN+ a success. The service is set to feature original shows and documentaries.

Since April, it’s seemed possible that CNN would launch its own streaming service. Since then, details have slowly rolled out, but little information has been released so far. The Streamable will continue to provide updates as the CNN+ launch date and details are released.

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