The LA Times reports that the CW network will remove Gossip Girl streaming from its website at CWTV.Com. The story points to what Bill and I have expected all along, despite reports to the contrary, advertising is still far more profitable via traditional means.
There are a variety of reasons for this including that demographic information about the viewers, a critical component to the advertising model on television is tracked via Nielsen. Good demographic information about random web users isn't valued as much by advertisers.
Will we see a spike in iTunes sales as a result? I doubt it. Or will it just bring a gaggle of young women to learn about illegal downloading of torrents. We know at least at the onset of the season Gossip Girl charged a heavy premium for 30 second spot according to reports. Whether it was able to hold that up now that up based on not so great ratings is in doubt, and I suspect that's exactly why the CW is blocking the streams on the web.
I don't think that's a great idea, either. I have to run, but more on this later.
Update: did a new post on this topic.