How CNET used Subtext to create a streaming community via text

Audiences are constantly scouring the internet for recommendations on anything from where to eat, what to watch or what type of car to buy. CNET saw an opportunity to make it even easier for their audiences by instantly delivering recommendations over text. 

With a new show being released weekly across what feels like a million different streaming services, audiences are overwhelmed searching for what to watch. CNET saw this as an opportunity to provide audiences with intrinsic value and created a dedicated text community centered around streaming. Host of Stream Source Rebecca Fleenor shares her entertainment expertise and dedication to bringing subscribers the best streaming shows and movies available on Hulu, Netflix, Disney+, Apple TV+, and more. This Subtext campaign has become a playbook to keep in your back pocket for all those nights spent endlessly looking for something to watch.


How CNET created an elevated push notification

Texts allow you to play a part in shaping the story, in real time. But what sets it apart from other marketing channels is that users can always access past messages that are uniquely relevant to them. These texts will live in their phones giving them the option to (re)engage and even share at their convenience.

Let’s talk about what the CNET team has done to make this such a success.

Consistency and Clarity

One of the keys to creating an engaged text community is to be clear and consistent. The CNET team sticks to a schedule, texting Wednesday and Friday between 3-5pm PST. Each broadcast provides a number of recommendations across different platforms. The consistency of timing and content provides clear expectations for subscribers.

CNET Stream Source text

Audience Engagement

Communicating directly with subscribers is a force of its own—whether it be giving/taking feedback or learning more about your audience. Rebecca shares her experience with Subtext as gratifying.


Subscriber Growth

1. Embeds: One of the most useful tools for promoting a Subtext campaign is utilizing our embed, especially in related article topics. CNET has done an incredible job inserting their campaign sign up embed across a variety of articles around streaming. We’ve learned that audiences are more likely to subscribe when they are reading about the topic.

Screen Shot 2022-02-14 at 4.22.37 PM (1)

2. Cross promote: CNET has launched a number of successful text campaigns including Cheapskate Deal Texts, so they were able to cross-promote Stream Source to those subscribers when it launched.

3. Social media: The team has promoted the campaign across CNET’s, the hosts and other team member’s social platforms.

Reach out to create your own texting communities on subtext at 

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