For good or bad, CNN was the first 24/7 news channel. And for good or bad, CNN.com was the first 24/7 news channel’s website that charged you to watch its video content like cable television. When I say “for good or bad,” there really is a little bit of both here. You had to pay to watch CNN’s video player, Pipeline, but, even so, CNN still had the third highest amount of unique visitors (27.1 million) to its site last month. Branding is everything.

Like a cable channel, CNN Pipeline was and is still available for $2.95 a month or $.99 a day. The player allows you to watch current CNN video, access CNN’s video archives, and create multiple channels of content.

But Mediaweek reports that CNN will no longer require visitors to pay to use these features, starting June 1.

The new player will also allow viewers to choose between local, national, and international news channels, like a video New York Times. The big change in that announcement is the local news features, which will include over 70 local channels produced by Internet Broadcasting.

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