4Q 2012 Results Clinch First Annual Jump in Long-Form DRTV Billings Since 20061 Apr, 2013 By: Thomas Haire Response
The quarter stays essentially even with 4Q 2011, helping total 2012 results rise 3.6 percent overall.
Fourth-quarter 2012 long-form DRTV media billings lost $4.2 million (1.6 percent) compared with the same quarter a year ago — but more importantly helped the annual results rise 3.6 percent overall, notching the first year-on-year gain recorded by Response research for long-form DRTV billings since 2006.
Total 2012 long-form spending rounded out 2011 at $1,050,516,100 — rising $36,564,300 over 2011. Long-form media billings had fallen between 3 percent and 5.5 percent annually from 2007-2011 after reaching an all-time high of $1.27 billion in 2006.
Celebrating the ‘Other’
Seven of the 15 measured categories reported gains in 4Q 2012, three fewer than in the same time period in 2011. The “Other” category enjoyed a complete U-turn from 4Q 2011, leading the pack in both dollar (nearly $12.5 million) and percentage gains (232.5 percent). “Cosmetics, Hair and Personal Care” built on its 4Q gains of a year prior, tacking on $9.2 million in spending, while “Health and Fitness” saw an $8.4 million increase (20.6 percent).
On the other side of the ledger, “Financial and Business Opportunities” (down $10.9 million or 50.8 percent) and “Diet, Weight Loss, Nutrition and Food” (down $10.6 million or 46.5 percent) suffered the most drastic dollar cuts. “Crafts, Collectibles and Hobbies” doubled down on its rough 4Q 2011 by zeroing out in fourth-quarter 2012, dropping more than $4.3 million.
Three of the four long-form media distribution outlets faltered in 4Q 2012, with broadcast’s $15.8 million jump the only positive. National cable slid 2.7 percent, a dollar loss of $3.3 million; and satellite crashed 41.9 percent, dropping $14.1 million. U.S. Hispanic suffered one of its first hiccups since Response began recording results for the outlet at the outset of 2011, dropping $2.6 million from 4Q 2011.
The total number of time slots purchased decreased by 86,915 (13.7 percent), while the average cost of a half-hour block rose 14 percent — mainly due to expanded rates in the cable and satellite spaces. Only the U.S. Hispanic market added time slots in 4Q 2012, helping it maintain more than 5 percent of market share, even with its loss in overall spending.
Higher rates for a 30-minute block of time were crucial to the overall rise in long-form spending in 2012. While total time slots purchased in 2012 (2,366,917) represented a 1.9-percent decrease from 2011, the average cost of a half-hour in 2012 ($443.83) rose 5.6 percent. Competition for half-hour space, especially on national cable, pushed that cost up, helping the long-form DRTV media market end its six-year slide. ■