Network Spotlight: A Deep Dive Into Advertising and Viewership Trends for The CW

Today we’re continuing our series of deep dives on major networks with a look at The CW. We examined recent advertising and viewership trends from the network (Jan. 1 through May 31, bypassing the summer lull) using data from, the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company, and Inscape, the TV data company with glass-level insights from a panel of more than 11 million smart TVs. Also below: the new fall series from The CW that are showing lots of viewer interest online according to video measurement company Tubular Labs.

Notable Brands and Spots has attention analytics that measure the propensity for viewers to interrupt ad play during a commercial, called the iSpot Attention Index (interruptions include changing the channel, pulling up the guide, fast-forwarding or turning off the TV; the higher the score, the better).

Three of the most-seen brands with high-attention ads on The CW:

  • GEICO - 110.3 million TV ad impressions, and an iSpot Attention Index of 120, meaning its ads received 20% fewer interruptions than average
  • Boost Mobile - 109.4 million impressions, iSpot Attention Index of 115, meaning 15% fewer interruptions
  • Kohl’s - 99.2 million impressions, iSpot Attention Index of 130, meaning 30% fewer interruptions

Three of the most-seen high-attention spots on The CW:

  • Cotton’s “First Day Fail” - 39.5 million TV ad impressions, iSpot Attention Index of 149, meaning 49% fewer interruptions than average
  • Boost Mobile’s “Demands” - 37.6 million impressions, iSpot Attention Index of 129, meaning 29% fewer interruptions
  • Mountain Dew’s “Let’s Do” featuring Holly Holm and Joel Embiid - 37.4 million impressions, iSpot Attention Index of 148, meaning 48% fewer interruptions

Network Spotlight: A Deep Dive Into Advertising and Viewership Trends for Fox

Attention Trends by Daypart and Day of the Week

We also looked at attention trends by daypart and day of the week using the iSpot Attention Score, which gives the average percentage of an ad that is played across TV devices. Looking at daypart, the highest iSpot Attention Scores on average came from primetime (90.47), early fringe (89.94) and day time (89.78).

There was a fairly consistent iSpot Attention Score across days of the week, with Saturdays and Sundays slightly winning out (90.78 and 90.38, respectively).

Viewership Insights

We looked at viewer trends across some of The CW’s major shows using insights from Inscape, including show crossover and season-over-season crossover.

First, a look at the percentage of crossover among five of its series: The Flash, Supernatural, Supergirl, Arrow and Roswell, New Mexico. A note about methodology: You have to do more than just flip past a station with your remote to count as a “crossover viewer” in Inscape’s system. For the data below, the minimum viewing threshold is 10 minutes.

Related: CW Crossover Event ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths’ Begins in December

The Flash was on the high end of crossover for multiple other shows: 45% of Supergirl viewers, 44% of Roswell, New Mexico viewers and 42% of Arrow fans tuned into it. On the flip side, people watching Supernatural were less likely in general to watch the other four shows, with the lowest crossover being 8.9% for Supergirl.

Two of the shows, Supernatural and Arrow, will be ending after this season. We took a look at audience loyalty with a season-over-season crossover analysis for each.

Of the Supernatural fans who watched season 13 (Oct. 12, 2017 through May 17, 2018), 41% came back for season 14 (Oct. 11, 2018 through April 25, 2019). For viewers of season 14, 39% had watched season 13.

For Arrow, 26% of the fans who tuned into season six (Oct. 12, 2017 through May 17, 2018) came back for season seven; 30% of people who watched season seven (Oct. 15, 2018 through May 13, 2019) had also watched season six.

What’s poised to be big coming up on The CW?

Though of course it’s impossible to know which shows will be most successful this fall, one hint lies in the impressions for trailers (i.e., high impressions = the network putting big bets on a given show) that have aired this summer. Looking at data from iSpot, we can see that new CW shows that stood out in terms of most impressions delivered by trailers from May 1 through Aug. 31 included Batwoman (268.2 million) and Nancy Drew (201 million) — which were also the network’s top show trailers overall.

Data from video measurement company Tubular Labs expands that view further by gauging the popularity of trailers for shows from The CW across social platforms including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram.

Returning drama Riverdale leads the way across social platforms, earning nearly 65 million views in the timeframe measured, and accounting for eight of the top 10 CW-owned videos. Batwoman “first look” trailers on Twitter and Facebook collected a combined 6.3 million views to take up the other two spots in the top 10 while grabbing 11 million total views across all videos. Nancy Drew’s “first look” accumulated 1.2 million views, to rank among the top 20 videos The CW posted in the timeframe.