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4Q 2007 Long-Form Results Slide $30 Million

1 Apr, 2008 By: Shay Moftakhar Response

Total 2007 long-form billings show a $62.7 million decline.

Iced Tea or the Iceberg?

Two of my three predictions for 4Q 2007 held fast — total spending hovered around $300 million and the average price for a block of time moved toward $650. However, the total number of timeslots did not reach the projected 475,000 missing by more than 25,000.

Figure 5
Figure 5

I credit this fluctuation to the aforementioned writers' strike. My predictions were based on the cooling of the economy from the winds of the impending recession, a slowdown in the housing sector and rising energy costs. However, the writers' strike caught me completely off guard, as it did much of the DRTV industry. With fewer new television programs, one would have expected a glut in available time, thus forcing costs down considerably.

The DRTV industry failed to completely capitalize on this opportunity. As viewers were turning off boring repeats or flipping through the channels for a new infomercial, the industry failed to deliver. This was the prime moment to launch every new campaign in the pipeline and turn the late night audience into your customer.

Figure 6
Figure 6

Instead, the same infomercials were being repeated and viewers lost interest. Revenues could no longer justify costs, and the glut was further exacerbated. The good news is that the strike is over and Hollywood is back to business as usual. The bad news is the uncertainty that 2008 holds. Will the recession and the change in late-night viewing habits be the iceberg that sank the Titanic?

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 fourth-quarter 2007.

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; San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose; Boston; Washington, D.C.; Dallas-Ft. Worth; Detroit and Atlanta.

The next 10 markets are: Houston; Seattle-Tacoma; Cleveland; Minneapolis-Sarasota; Miami-Ft. Lauderdale; Pittsburgh; Denver; Phoenix and St. Louis.

The numbers 21 through 30 markets are: Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto; Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne; Baltimore; Indianapolis; Portland; Hartford-New Haven; San Diego; Charlotte; Milwaukee and Cincinnati.

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