The network business is still a business — which is why the CW has become the first programmer to place a full commercial load on its online streams.
That’s the word from CW Entertainment prexy Dawn Ostroff, who told reporters at the Television Critics Assn. Thursday that the C-Dub will finally make money by posting episodes on its website.
“This may become a blueprint for the rest of the industry,” Ostroff said of the plan, which was first announced at the May upfront presentations. “We’re no longer looking at digital pennies. We’ve achieved digital dollars.”
The key to the model is new data methodology that allows the CW to sell demos for its video streaming. Ostroff said the CW’s video player has been “wholly embraced by the ad community.”
“Online is now a significant revenue stream,” she said.
The CW told reporters in May that it was first out of the gate because its audience was already consuming more video online and didn’t mind which platform they use to view a program.
The move comes as sites like Hulu look at pay models for some content and programmers continue to figure out how to make money online — particularly as viewers migrate from TV.
Asked if the full commercial loads might scare viewers back into watching CW series on TV, Ostroff pointed out that TV viewing is still more desirable — particularly from a measurement perspective.