from the inevitability dept
You'll have to excuse the gloating, but, well: we told you so. Or Mike did, anyway, when back in April he explained why the CW Network's decision to stop streaming Gossip Girl on its website was completely boneheaded.
The executives behind the decision were trying to force the show's sizable online audience to watch the program on broadcast television instead. Unsurprisingly, the ploy didn't work, and yesterday the network's president confirmed that streaming will resume.
We should give credit where it's due: the network brass recognized their experiment's failure relatively quickly and called it off. And their original motivation is understandable -- online advertising continues to lack the financial firepower of traditional media ads due to a variety of factors, only some of which can be blamed on the ad industry's continued confusion over how to deal with the internet age.
But as Mike originally pointed out, this plan was doomed from the start. Limiting consumer choice is no longer a viable business strategy. Attempts to do so in the media realm are especially hopeless, and doubly so when, like the CW, you've already shown your users how much freedom they could be enjoying. Sure enough, the torrents for Gossip Girl are well-seeded. Given that, the CW's decision to serve its viewers on their own terms is a wise one. Here's hoping they do us all a favor and find a way to make their online ad stock more financially viable.