CNN.com grabbed headlines in June when it made its streaming video available for free. But this fall, CNN.com will roll out Pipeline, a pay streaming service (pricing and rollout date to be disclosed) it believes is a game-changer. David Payne, CNN.com senior VP/general manager, and Susan Grant, executive VP of CNN News Services, gave a demo at the Time Warner Center in New York to B&C's Ken Kerschbaumer.
If I already have free video from CNN and elsewhere, why would I pay for a streaming video service?
David Payne: Most people spend most of their life at work, away from TV sets. They have Internet access and, on a lot of sites, access to free video to catch up on what happened—and the ability to read stories. This takes that to the next level.
DP: One way is the live feature, which streams video of stories as they're developing.
It's odd that the Internet isn't able to keep up with a breaking news story.
DP: Well, it takes us time to write a story, pull a picture, publish a story and get it up on the Web site, and during that process, new facts are coming in. With Pipeline, viewers will get four different live feeds from affiliates and our newsgathering facility. So you get instant gratification.
And that's why you think people will pay?
DP: Yes. We tried to take the best practices of the television, cable and Internet industries. So you're satisfying VOD needs with clips, TiVo needs with fast forward and pause, and everything live without commercials. And just like with iTunes, the search and menu interface is something that people will understand because it doesn't involve navigating Web pages.
Susan Grant: There's also a small text pop-up that will show up on your desktop to let you know about breaking news, even when the application isn't opened. And if the user wants to keep it running, it can be sized as a small window on the desktop.