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2Q Short-Form DRTV Media Billings Up 42 Percent

1 Sep, 2003 By: Shay Moftakhar Response

Entertainment and electronics categories continue to lead growth movement.

Short-form DRTV media billings for second-quarter 2003 reflect a $40.8 million increase over 2002 - a clean jump of 42 percent. In the spirit of first-quarter 2003, 11 categories showed gains while only five reported lower figures to 2002. Some winning and losing categories, and the makeup of media distribution, parallel results from long-form research.

Figure 1:  Total Quarterly Media Billings
Figure 1: Total Quarterly Media Billings


Insufficient Funds

For the second straight quarter, the "Entertainment, travel and psychic services" category fronted the growth leaders with a 452-percent romp, followed again by the "Electronics" category with a 274-percent rise. "Crafts, collectibles and hobbies" fared better in short form than long form, with a 202-percent growth, and "Financial and business opportunities" yielded a leap of 168 percent. Humming to its own tune of success, the "Music and video" category showed a 183-percent improvement.

Figure 2:  Second-Quarter 2003 short-Form Categorical Distribution
Figure 2: Second-Quarter 2003 short-Form Categorical Distribution


On the down side, the "Automotive" category followed suit with its long form results, dropping 50 percent, and the "Fundraising" category reported a golden goose egg - the first time any category failed to show numbers for both long- and short-form DRTV. In contrast to the success of its second-quarter long-form numbers, "Personal development, self-help and education" reflected a 65-percent loss in short form compared to 2Q 2002.


Top It Off

The top 30 markets displayed significant attention this year as opposed to 2002. Top 30 expenditures increased $37.6 million - to more than $61 million - accounting for 44.4 percent of the total. The top 10 markets boasted a 266.8-percent improvement, while markets 11-21 gained 71.6 percent, and markets 21-30 enjoyed a 159.4-percent increase. Overall, the top 30 markets performed 159.4-percent better than last year's second quarter.

Figure 3:  Second-Quarter 2003 Short-form billings in the top 30 markets
Figure 3: Second-Quarter 2003 Short-form billings in the top 30 markets


Changes in short-form DRTV media distribution between the three outlets in second-quarter 2003 mirrored long-form changes. National cable declined 4.8 percent, while broadcast gained the same 3.4 percent as its long-form counterpart and satellite and regional cable crept up 1.4 percent.

National cable commands a 67.6-percent share of media distribution for short-form DRTV, while broadcast holds onto 24.7 percent, and satellite and regional cable scratches out 7.7 percent.

Figure 4:  Second-Quarter 2003 short-Form Media Distribution
Figure 4: Second-Quarter 2003 short-Form Media Distribution


Continued Involvement

Response has had the good fortune of expanding our participant base in both the long-form and short-form DRTV media billing surveys. The greater the number of participants, the more accurate the results. Accurate results serve as a priceless barometer of our industry's growth and potential. As stated before, this is not a complete list of all short-form DRTV media buyers. However, it does represent a cross section of small, medium and large short-form DRTV media buyers.



In future surveys, Response will be making efforts to broaden our survey base and include as many short-form media-buying firms as possible in order to accurately gauge the market in its entirety. If you are a media buyer and were not contacted in this survey or for the long-form survey and would like to participate, please contact Thomas Haire, Response editor-in-chief, at (714) 513-8850, or via E-mail at

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