Thursday, May 24, 2007, 5:25 PM ET
News from CNN that it is jettisoning the subscription model for its Pipeline service. Smart move for them. Based on our recent report on the top 75 cable TV networks’ broadband video initiatives, I now count only 3 networks still using a subscription model (note, all in conjunction with free, ad supported video).
Those 3 are:
In dropping its subscription charge, CNN is acknowledging that it’s too tough to get users to pay for news online. No doubt adding to their motivation is the red-hot broadband video ad market. For top tier content like CNN’s, I consistently hear CPMs in the $25-40 range. That’s too tempting to pass up. Credit though to CNN for giving subscriptions a try. Good evidence that experimentation still can find a home in the big media world.
Golf Channel “The Drive” Premium Membership - $29.95/year (lots of instructional video – makes sense to charge)
CourtTV “EXTRA” - $5.95/mo (feeds of multiple trials simultaneously, for the armchair criminologists among you)
Weather Channel “Desktop Max” $29.99/year – (really the ad-supported Desktop service, but minus the ads, and also more comprehensive than just video)