This question has been asked a lot over the past few seasons, as â€œSupernaturalâ€ ratings have declined (and The CWâ€™s). Are less people watching?
In an article I put up on TV For The Rest of Us, I covered in detail a recent Wall Street Journal article that stated among other things, that twenty percent of CW viewers are now watching online. Thatâ€™s more than any other network. On top of that, â€œSupernaturalâ€ at least in the 18-49 demo has been seeing over fifty percent increases (and often higher) when DVR + 7 has been factored in.
A great site to discuss such topics is TV By The Numbers One of the frequent commenters there decided to do the math recently on â€œSupernatural.â€ This comment was posted on the TV For The Rest of Us article, so I don't have the original link. The person who wrote this goes by the name of Mark Wood on TV By The Numbers:
Now of course thatâ€™s across the board, meaning some shows will have had larger then 20% of its total audience being online, and some will have less. Without specific show data, all we can do is make educated estimates.
For example, with an average of 2.5 million means that for most of the season that online push means that its actual overall audience would be around 2.9 million.
Considering that back 6 years ago in April the first year of the CW with all viewing options SPN would have got a 3.4. 3.4 and in 6 years a 2.9 in viewers. That really highlights that the numbers we see weekly for SPN are more impacted by the change in how people view shows, than the loss of SPNâ€™s audience.
The CW more than any network is losing higher percentages to both DVRâ€™s and to online viewing (that network 20% is the highest of the broadcast networks) and are more likely to be in adults 18-34.
In fact, you can use info like this for any show to track actual audience erosion year to year. Now all that is good for, is basically tracking the migration of viewers, and to track a show's general audience.
Doesnâ€™t mean that a show has the same revenue potential that it would have had years ago with higher numbers. Not at all."
Going by the Wall Street Journal article, whichstated online viewing for The CW is double now from last year, ten percent of viewers were watching online last April. Viewership hovered at around 2 million live this time last year. DVR was only bumping up the total 33%. Increase that two million by another ten percent, weâ€™re at about 2.9 million. According to the calculations in the comment above, thatâ€™s were we stand in season seven as well (although Iâ€™m getting 3 million, but we wonâ€™t quibble over .1). Just for fun, the average number of viewers for season one in April on The WB? 3.6 million.
So what does all this mean? Perhaps Supernatural isnâ€™t eroding as quickly was we think in terms of viewership. Without sound figures though publicly available in all areas, itâ€™s guessing, just like Mark Wood said. Still, itâ€™s fun to approximate, and this is the first time Iâ€™ve heard of any online viewing numbers.
So what do you think? Are you finding these numbers encouraging, or are shifts in the way weâ€™re watching not good for the show?