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The failure of CNN+ could put a damper on big news organizations’ attempts to innovate

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People walk by the world headquarters for the Cable News Network (CNN) on March 15, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia.

The cancellation of CNN's streaming platform CNN+ could have chilling effects on news innovation, both internally and at other outlets. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

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CNN reportedly spent hundreds of millions of dollars developing CNN+ — the streaming service that it launched last month and canceled last week.

The cable giant abandoning its new streaming service so quickly after spending so much on it could create a chilling effect, according to Carrie Brown of CUNY’s journalism school.

“The fact that they invested so much into this and then pulled the plug, I think that also has a lot of impacts on the internal culture of CNN itself and even other journalism organizations that want to try something like this in the future,” Brown said.

Brown said news organizations that don’t give new platforms enough time or resources to succeed are less likely to keep trying new things, like developing coverage for new social media platforms.

News organizations need to do some thoughtful experimentation to stay relevant, said Amy Webb of the Future Today Institute.

“You can’t keep taking the same product and porting it to the new technology and expecting that people are going to pay for it,” Webb said. Because people only have so many dollars to spend and only so many minutes to spend watching.

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