In mid 2017, when CNN announced that it will be launching a post-cable network and betting over USD$70 million on it, we thought it’s time CNN – the giant media broadcaster – start to spread its content production net a little wider.
According to Bloomberg’s report, the company pumped in USD$40 million of fresh capital into Great Big Story, the web-video venture CNN rolled out in 2015 – a substitute to Vice Media – bringing CNN’s investment to about USD$70 million upping GBS value to around USD$250 million.
The idea is to create a next generation ‘cable network’ without having to follow the conservative path of setting distribution deals with cable TV distributors.
In the four-part branded content mini-series backed by Accor Hotels, Great Big Story journeys through Singapore, Chengdu and Shanghai to meet passionate architects, musicians and discover traditions that are making a comeback including contemporary Shanghai jazz inspired by the city’s 1930s jazz scene. It will also include an immersive 360-degree video of the restored Raffles Hotel, which will launch in mid-2019, produced by CNN International Commercial (CNNIC)’s global brand studio Create.
“AccorHotels is a long-standing partner of CNN’s, and we are delighted to build on this relationship through this cinematic journey with Great Big Story,” said Sunita Rajan, SVP, APAC, CNN International Commercial.
The new video series will run across Great Big Story’s multiple platforms and social accounts reaching over 10 million followers and travellers around the world.
In its most recent deal with Accor Hotels, Great Big Story have launched a video series exploring architecture, art, traditions and music part across three Asian cities, which also bolstered 3x its average spends in Q4 2018.
Since Q116, Accor Hotels has spent slightly over US$1.5m. Its branded content deals between US$400k to US$450k tend to be its biggest ones, namely deals with Fox International on Welcome To My Room (US$450k, Dec ‘17 to Feb ‘18) and BBC Worldwide’s Asian Business Report (US$400k, Aug ’17 to Oct ’17).