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Direct Response Marketing

Long-Form Media Billings Rise 2.8 Percent in 1Q 2012

1 Jul, 2012 By: Jackie Jones, Thomas Haire Response

Spending in the top 30 markets dips 10.2 percent, while the total number of time slots purchased increases 5.6 percent.Total Quarterly Long-Form Media Billings

Response’s first-quarter 2012 DRTV media billings research continues to present a variety of mixed results, a trend dating back to 2010. Overall, first-quarter 2012 long-form media billings increased $8.2 million — a slight jump of 2.8 percent — with the total number of time slots purchased also spiking 5.6 percent.

This is the first gain reflected in the first quarter since 2009, though spending in the top 30 markets took a turn for the worse compared to prior first quarters, and the average cost of a half-hour block also suffered a slight loss, as well.

Healthy Gains

Only four of the 15 measured categories reported gains iFirst-Quarter 2012 Long-Form Categorical Distributionn 1Q 2012, a far cry from the same quarter of the year prior when just five of the 15 categories reported losses. “Health and Fitness” boasted the greatest dollar gain by far — $41.5 million (48.6 percent) — while “Diet, Weight Loss, Nutrition and Food” also enjoyed a dollar boost of $10.9 million (41.3 percent). “Music and Video” was the quarter’s best percentage gainer, jumping 53.4 percent ($4.2 million) when compared to 1Q 2011.

“Crafts, Collectibles and Hobbies” suffered the greatest percentage decrease — 79.8 percent ($5.8 million), while the “Other” category suffered the worst dollar-on-dollar loss, declining $10.9 million (75.8 percent). The “Electronics” and “Entertainment, Travel and Psychic Services” categories also suffered significant percentage losses, dropping 63.2 percent ($2.5 million) and 61.2 percent ($6.3 million), respectively.

Top 30 Declines

Two of the four media outlets posted losses compared to first-quarter 2011. U.S. Hispanic boasted the First-Quarter 2012 Long-Form Billings in the Top 30 Marketsgreatest percentage gain — 61.6 percent — while broadcast bounced back from 1Q 2011 with a spectacular dollar-on-dollar increase of $14.2 million. National cable suffered some tough losses in 1Q 2012, dipping $11.9 million (8.1 percent) when compared to first-quarter 2011.

First-quarter 2011 was the first time Response asked companies to quantify spending on U.S. Hispanic long-form television media. While the resulting $4.2 million in 1Q 2011 made up just 1.5 percent at the time, Response predicted the number would grow steadily as the market expanded and the reporting companies involved in the long-form survey grew more accustomed to reporting these results, which 1Q 2012 proved.

The total number of time slots purchased increased 34,317 (5.6 percent) in first-quarter 2012. The average cost of a half-hour block dropped 2.9 percent ($14.19) compared to 1Q 2012.

With recent reports from Kantar Media and the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) regarding the gaining momentum of the direct response space, specifically in short-form DRTV, the industry must hope that this solid start to 2012 in long-form billings — a rise in total billings with a slight easing of pricing — is a sign of expanding health for all levels of the DR business.

Average Cost Half Hour Block of Time Purchased in Q1 2012First-Quarter 2012 Long-Form Media Distribution

Number of Time Slots and Percentage of Total Time Slots Purchased in First-Quarter 2012





Long-Form Media Indices are conducted quarterly by the staff of Response. It represents in-house, non-brokered media billings for all agencies and marketers known to have purchased long-form (30 minutes) media during first-quarter 2012.

Companies that couldn’t or wouldn’t reveal their media billings by press time were estimated based on previous responses to surveys on the quarter in question and based on projects they were known to be involved with.

For the survey, the top 10 markets include: New York; Los Angeles; Chicago; Philadelphia; Dallas-Ft. Worth; San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose; Boston; Washington, D.C.; Atlanta; and Houston.

Markets 11-20 are: Detroit; Seattle-Tacoma; Phoenix; Tampa-St. Petersburg; Minneapolis-St. Paul; Miami-Fort Lauderdale; Denver; Cleveland; Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne; and Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto.

Markets 21-30 are: St. Louis; Portland, Ore.; Pittsburgh; Raleigh-Durham; Charlotte; Indianapolis; Baltimore; San Diego; Nashville; and Hartford-New Haven.

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