CNN has announced that it is canceling its daily Snapchat show “The Update.” The program launched a few months ago, but ultimately wasn’t working for the news site. According to the Wall Street Journal, the decision was based on “the realization that there wasn’t a clear enough path to make money.”
The move might send shivers down the spines of other media outlets that are dabbling with Snapchat. CNN was widely considered to be one of the more successful media brands on the platform. According to a Digiday story from last August, CNN’s Discover channel was reaching 12 million monthly viewers. CNN then decided to do away with this Discover “magazine” in favor of “The Update,” which now appears to have been a bad bet.
The real question is: For even those brands that are supposedly doing well on Snapchat, how do they make any money? The media landscape is increasingly controlled by Facebook and Google–recent numbers estimate the two companies commanded 73% of all U.S. digital advertising in the second quarter of 2017. Publishers are trying to seek out places for growth outside of that duopoly, and Snapchat has been considered a possible candidate. Yet CNN’s move indicates that the path to real ad revenue is not so clear.
Update: Snap and CNN have provided Fast Company with this statement:
Snap and CNN have built a great partnership over the years and our teams have enormous admiration for each other. We plan to keep working together and mutually decided to hit pause as we explore the best opportunities for doing that. Our relationship will very much be continuing.