UPN (United Paramount Pictures), and The WB (Warner Bros Television Network) made similar shows that are produced today by The CW. They were responsible for Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Star Trek, Charmed, Supernatural.
However, things started to go south in the early 2000s because both networks failed to wider their audience, from ages 12-34. Due to this, they lost $2 billion dollars. Executives from CBS and Time Warner decided to shut down The WB and UPN and make a merger of the two networks- The CW. Hence, their first two letters of the company’s name. Relatively speaking The CW is quite young, it was founded on January 24, 2006.
Their new key target were females 18-34-year-olds. Hence why shows like Gossip Girl, 90210, and Vampire Diaries did so well. Although there were doing well at the beginning, similarities from their first problem started to emerge. There was a decline of viewership.
Mark Pedowitz(CEO) decided to change female viewers to “adult network”. The “adult network” was meant to attract male viewership as well. So superhero shows started to develop. It became more inclusive by adding The Arrow, and The Flash. A new slogan was also developed, “TV Now”, representing the change in media. Viewers can watch an episode on The CW website for free, just eight hours after the show is aired.
The network ended 2014 with 2.15 million viewers (12% increase in viewership). Their content is not the only aspect of their company that is attractive to an “adult audience”. It comes to show their knowledge of who they’re targeting to. They know that viewers from 20-35 are cutting the cable, so they provide full-length episodes on CWTV.com.
Another marketing strategy is the development of interactive media, CWINGO.
“CWINGO is a new way to watch your favorite shows. We’ve taken the fun of Bingo and given it a CW twist! Watch the CW live on-air to play along with the game. Keep your eyes peeled to see when the moments on your card appeal in the show- get five in a row and you get CWINGO!”
CW Seed is another section of The CW, but with shorter episodes (10min). Specifically comedies for millennials, and exclusively available on the CW Seed website- http://www.cwseed.com/
Their slogan is “Only suckers pay to watch TV”. It seems that the company as a whole is trying to make a move to a digital platform, where viewers could watch high-end content for free.
The difference is that CW is still aired on cable and then online, and CW seed is only available online. Maybe they’re using CW seed as a test to have an idea on how CW would perform if it’s only available online. What do you think?