CNN Drops Paid Online Video Service, While Broader Problems Persist At Time Warner

from the any-good-ideas-in-the-pipeline? dept

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.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Craig Ferrante, May 23rd, 2007 @ 11:44pm

    better late than never

    Its not suprising to see cnn doing this. you see alot of local media companies using ad supported video on there sites. I dont see a reason to pay for something that is free if you just turn on your tv.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    GoblinJuice, May 24th, 2007 @ 4:48am

    I'm a FoxNews guy, but CNN's Pipeline interested me. Never really explored it - because it was pay - but now... I may.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Overcast, May 24th, 2007 @ 5:22am

    CNN sucks bad. I wouldn't watch it if I got paid too... well... ok, that depends on how much pay too :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 24th, 2007 @ 6:01am


    I'm a FoxNews guy...

    And you're proud of that? What is this world coming to?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Just Me, May 24th, 2007 @ 6:20am

    Re: Re:

    Lol, As I was reading down the comments and hit #2 my exact thought was #4's response.
    Beat me to the punch I guess.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Greg Andrew, May 24th, 2007 @ 8:01am

    Pipeline vs. Times Select

    I don't see the comparison between CNN Pipeline and TimesSelect. The Times has over 200,000 paid online subscribers (not including those who have gotten free academic subscriptions or have signed up for free subscriptions because they subscribe to the daily paper; that number is 450,000 higher). Pipeline, on the other hand, had so few subscribers - despite being much cheaper per year - that no numbers have ever been made public; I'm guessing that it was in the four figures. The key to TimesSelect is actually the free use (up to 100 articles a month) of the Times Archives that comes with the subscription. Other papers have pay services for their archives too, but they are usually at least $200 a year and attract very few subscribers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Coward Killer, May 24th, 2007 @ 9:40am

    Re: Re:

    I'm a FoxNews guy... And you're proud of that? What is this world coming to?

    As well he should be. Now none of us will be supporting that Village Idiot Turner.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Sean, May 24th, 2007 @ 1:10pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Um...I'm sure Murdoch ranks much higher than Turner.

    Or for that matter, trying to describe a true difference between FOX and CNN is about as absurd. In the end, both don't report news so much as portray a circus to entertain a viewer.

    I mean, FOX really doesn't even try to hide its own contradictions, either. Bill O'Reilly tries to play himself off as a "cultural warrior" (whatever that means) as well as someone who is apart of the middle class. The man is so far removed from the common American he really should be regarded as a mere televangelist.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Coward Killer Killer :), May 24th, 2007 @ 2:13pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Coward Killer? Hahaha...what a yourself a favor and try out Frontline, or other PBS news outlets. While you're at it check out the CBC or BBC. Hell, maybe a couple documentaries. The Corporation, and Outfoxed:Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism come to mind.

    You wouldn't trust news coming from a door-to-door salesman or a politician, would you? (no offense to any salesmen that might be reading) Ted Turner? Rupert Murdoch? What's the difference? They tell you what that which keeps you watching, not necessarily what you need to know. Sometimes they kill stories, and even entire shows to keep you from hearing about certain hot topics.


    Don't worry, we'll make an educated media consumer out of you in no time :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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