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Reuters Launches ‘Netflix for News’ App: Can It Put a Dent in CNN or CNBC?

Attention, news fans: Reuters has launched a mobile-phone video subscription service — priced at $1.99 per month — that aims to cut into the viewership of CNN, CNBC and other networks.

The Reuters TV iPhone app offers “curated but personalized news coverage,” with 5-30 minute video reports, according to parent company Thomson Reuters.

The new service, announced Wednesday, is targeted broadly at general-interest news consumers. While edging into CNN territory, the app primarily will challenge NBCUniversal’s CNBC — which currently dominates business TV news — as well as others like Bloomberg TV and 21st Century Fox’s Fox Business Network.

Reuters TV is aimed at a growing segment of “informed, mobile and globally engaged consumers” in their 30s and 40s who are “too busy to watch traditional TV news,” the company said. However, it’s uncertain at this point how many people that represents — and, more important, how many of them will pay two bucks per month to watch Reuters’ videos.

“The way we consume TV and hear about news has changed,” Isaac Showman, managing director of Reuters TV, said in a statement. “Reuters TV is news for the Netflix age: It’s individually relevant, on-demand, and up-to date. It’s ideal for viewing during your daily commute.”

The app will provide an “algorithmically assembled” live channel, with content that is also available to download for offline viewing, Reuters said.

Editorial content for Reuters TV will be produced in multiple versions and organized by editorial teams in London, Hong Kong, New York and Washington, D.C., providing 24/7 coverage, the company said.

The Reuters TV for iPhone app is available only in the U.S. and the U.K. It will carry a limited number of advertising spots.

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