CNN has announced that it will drop the paid subscription model for its Pipeline service. The only question is: what took it so long? The problem with the service is the same one that the New York Times is experiencing with TimesSelect. It's really hard to get people to pay subscriptions online, particularly when there are so many free alternatives. Smartly, the company will continue to offer Pipeline, but it will be ad-supported, opening the service up to a much wider audience while helping to satisfy the burgeoning demand for opportunities to brand online. At this point, CNN will have some catching up to do if it wants to compete in this space, since it's not exactly a go-to destination for video. Even if CNN does resolve its issues, it will only be a small part of the equation for its parent company, Time Warner, which has a hilariously convoluted approach to video, employing a host of disparate services across its brands rather than making any attempt to unify them.
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