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The CW uses the Web to get viewers back to TV

At least, that’s how they hope it works.

Why don’t you do this more with your radio station?

The CW is already trying to herd its online audience to the living-room screen. The network has refused to stream the last five episodes of drama “Gossip Girl” and has prompted consumers to take part in “watch and win” contests that require people to watch the program on TV in order to win a prize. The season finale will include a tie-in with Verizon Wireless and will prompt viewers to search for the “XOXO” symbol — the title character’s famous sign-off — and text message their answers to win. More is on the way for next season, said Alison Tarrant, the CW’s senior VP-integrated sales and marketing. While the network has emphasized online “extras” for digital audiences, “we are evolving our strategy, giving these passionate fans more reasons to come back and watch their favorite shows live on television,” she said, adding that the network is looking at way to make episodes into events. Among the ideas being considered: having fans send text messages to gain hints of coming plotlines, music downloads or even message from actors; mini-episodes that start on TV, move online and come back on TV again; and contests for prizes viewers can win by watching the show on TV.

As long as “old” media makes a dollar for the same impression that “new” media makes a penny (forgive the generalization), there will be an incentive for traditional media to use their new media assets not just to distribute content but to move audiences to where those audiences generate the most value.

This, for example, is why Iron Man is on the Big Screen this past weekend and not yet in the Best Buy.

In my opinion we don’t spend nearly enough time providing online content and incentives which can serve to motivate listeners to boomerang back to where their listening counts most:

Our own air.

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