Sometimes I really wonder what the hell CW is paying their marketing analysts for, because I am over here with freeware social media analytics tools and open-source ratings/demo reports and it feels like I have a far better grip on their audience’s behavior and interests than they do.
(This graph: blue bars = total audience; red line = key demographic audience)
Point #1: Supergirl was averaging a decent 2.5 million viewers from 2x01 through 2x12. The show has lost 500,000 viewers – aka 20% of its audience – since it doubled down on the Kara/Mon-El storyline from 2x13-2x16.
Of the 500k people they lost, a solid 40 percent were in their key demographic: viewership among adults tanked from nearly 800k people for 2x12 (a number the show hit consistently all season long until that point) to barely scraping 600k for 2x16. That’s … not good. The whole reason people market to that age bracket is because those are the people most likely to have disposable income to spend on tie-in products or things sold by advertising partners.
Point #2: nobody is falling for their SG/Arrowverse crossover marketing ploys anymore.
See that million-person spike for 2x08? That was fans of Flash/Legends/Arrow tuning in for the crossover that wasn’t. Now, see the season-record low ratings for 2x16? That was people not trusting the promotional advertising. (This held for last night’s episode of The Flash as well, which hit the exact same target demo numbers that it has for the past two weeks, and had below-average overall viewership numbers.)
tl;dr the audience that is here for Supergirl is qualitatively different from the one that follows the other CWDCU shows, which we pretty much all knew already. And the audience that is here for the male-led shows is not crossing over in reverse. In trying to make Supergirl more like their other shows, they’re effectively killing its core audience that was sold a very different product than they are now delivering, and they aren’t earning the trust of fans who watch their other products anyway. This is not sustainable for anybody, so it’d be great if they could figure this out.