CNN+, The Latest Streaming Service You Will Probably Ignore, Launches This Month

Chronic news-watchers and non-fiction fans will soon have a new home base: CNN+ has finally set its launch date.

The streamer from CNN was first announced last year, and since then, its landing page has filled out with a slate of upcoming programming and details about what to expect upon subscribing. According to Variety, the network announced its launch date today, eight months after news of it first hit. It's slated to go live March 29.

On the surface, CNN+ seems like a minor player in the streaming game, another step closer to a seemingly unavoidable future where every single channel has a different price point and platform. Yet CNN+ does have some appeal outside the familiar cable news model with which its name is associated. In addition to typical news shows, the streamer boasts true crime and travel series, pop culture rundowns like "The History of Comedy," and interactive online reporting featuring CNN news anchors.

It's not just news

The biggest get in my book is "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown," a travel show hosted by the late, great chef that has proven mostly elusive on streaming. Only one season of "Parts Unknown" is available on HBO Max in the US, out of 12 seasons total. Currently, another Bourdain show, "No Reservations" series lives on Discovery+, though Discovery is set to merge with CNN's parent company, WarnerMedia.

CNN+ also seems to have plans for at least one major documentary project, as Ethan Hawke's docuseries "The Last Movie Stars," about Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, was previously announced as a CNN+ exclusive. CNN executives are expected to present more information about the streamer at SXSW this weekend, where they're scheduled for a panel that includes on-screen talent for CNN+ including influencer Alison Roman, journalist Audie Cornish, retired NBA player Rex Chapman, and political correspondent Kasie Hunt.

At this point, it's hard not to read about dime-a-dozen network-specific streamers and wonder which ones will be built to last. CNN's chief digital officer Andrew Morse seems to have big plans for CNN+, though, as indicated by his brief statement to Variety: "March 29 will be an important day in the history of CNN and CNN Plus will be a critical part of our future."

The price point for CNN+ is pretty in line with other streamers of its caliber; the service, which will also be available as an app, will cost $5.99 per month or $59.99 per year, with a promo offering indefinite half off monthly subscriptions for anyone who signs up in the first four weeks after the service launches.

CNN+ will launch March 29, 2022.