It’s not the Stone Age anymore, so we no longer need to get our news from traditional media outlets. The papers are long dead and mostly forgotten, and now the grim specter of obsolescence has come knocking on the door of the cable networks. In order to rage against this dying of the light a little longer, Variety is reporting that CNN has just paid for the launch of Great Big Story, a new “socially distributed video network” that will release “newsy video stories” for the people who would rather learn about the world from Twitter tending topics than Wolf Blitzer.
Great Big Story will be accessible through all of the hip ways that cool young people consume media these days, including Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, and all of the really radical underground apps that us old bastards haven’t ruined yet. The network is being billed as a direct competitor to sites like Vice, BuzzFeed, and Vox, since places like that are much more capable of presenting news as soon as it happens than CNN is. Great Big Story is planning to release “three to five videos of varying lengths each day,” with “branded content” mixed in to pay for all of this.
Interestingly, Great Big Story won’t actually be an official part of the CNN family. The network has simply dumped a bunch of money into it, and will presumably promote its content alongside its own stories. We’re sure CNN knows what it’s doing, but that deal reminds us of when Borders decided it needed a way to sell books online, so rather than develop its own thing, it teamed up with a site called Amazon that was already pretty good at selling books online. Eventually, Amazon got big enough that it could drop Borders entirely, and now Borders is, well, gone. But no, this is probably nothing like that. CNN will be around forever.