CNN Plans to Offer Subscriptions for Digital News Next Year

Excerpts from an article by Benjamin Mullin in The Wall Street Journal

After investing in digital “verticals,” or distinct web brands, focused on business and politics and acquiring an online-video startup, CNN is gearing up for another big step: the launch of tiered subscription offerings for its digital news business as early as the second quarter of next year.

A proposed premium offering will give subscribers access to special content on topic-specific verticals, such as CNN Money and CNN Politics, built around network personalities. A second option will provide additional, though less specialized, content across all of CNN’s sites. Pricing hasn’t been finalized.

“We have to find more subscription products,” said network president Mr. Jeff Zucker said in an interview. “We have to experiment with e-commerce. And I think we have to find ways to monetize mobile traffic.”

The move is part of a broader five-year plan to develop new revenue streams and reach $1 billion in digital revenue by 2022. CNN’s digital arm expects to pull in $370 million this year, according to a person familiar with its financials.

Read the full article in The Wall Street Journal