For those who don’t know, CNN Pipeline, the English language video news service streaming live and on-demand video over the Internet, is a subscription-based platform. It is priced at $25 per year. But CNN has now announced that this service will be available for free effective July 1, 2007.
CNN has basically learned a universal truth a lot of similar services have found out through experience — no one likes to pay for stuff on the Internet. In fact, people don’t even like to pay for cable TV. The $25 a year (or $3 per month or $1 daily pass) service may not be working out for the news network as it initially envisioned.
The CNN Pipeline name will be recalled and all the content it hosts will be moved to the free section beginning in July. The organization intends to recoup the earnings it loses from pulling its subscription-based model by serving ads along with the live video. But advertisements won’t be introduced in the near future, according to CNN reps.
News media companies haven’t taken a universal stance on how they can successfully get customers to pay for online content. For example, some charge a fee for select videos or articles, others earn revenue by pooling together their content on a common ad-supported platform and a few are sticking to the subscription model.
Let’s see how CNN’s latest move works out for the company.