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4Q 2008 Short-Form DRTV Media Billings Level Off at $1.1 Billion

1 May, 2009 By: Shay Moftakhar Response

Top-40 spending retracts $171.9 million, as cable TV shrinks $151.5 million.


The latest tally from TNS Media Intelligence (TNSMI) reflects a new trend in short-form DRTV media billings heading into 2009. Fourth-quarter 2008 ended the year off 11.5 percent ($143.6 million) from 4Q 2007 results. The quarter's $1,106,117,200 was a mere $89,500 above third-quarter 2008 results of $1,106,027,700. Thanks to a $271.2 million spending surplus in 2008's first half, total 2008 short-form media billings overcame the combined losses in quarters three and four to reach a $44.7 million surplus over 2007 results, clocking in at just more than $4.52 billion.

Figure 1
Figure 1

 

The Two-Star General's Art Collection

 

Only five of the 17 measured categories claimed gains, a far cry from the record-setting gains of 4Q 2007. The "General" category earned its second star by claiming top dollar-gainer honors in consecutive quarters, adding $74.8 million — the category had jumped $73 million in 3Q 2008. The "Collectibles and Art" category halted the "Apparel" category's three-quarter run as top percentage gainer with a massive 610-percent push of $10.2 million. However, "Apparel" still made an impressive 78-percent gain of $11.5 million. "Home and Building" advanced $9.7 million while "Drug and Toiletry" rose $28.4 million. These five categories combined for $134.6 million in gains.

Figure 2
Figure 2

"Correspondence Schools" repeated its poor 3Q 2008 performance, losing 88 percent ($3.9 million), which dragged its total down to $543,900. The "Computers, Software and Home Office" category suffered the worst dollar-on-dollar decline at $68.2 million. Four other categories lost between $27 million and $57 million compared with 4Q 2007 results: "Household, Furniture and Appliances," "Audio Supplies and Equipment," "Business" and "Video Supplies and Equipment." These five loss leaders accounted for $240.4 million in lost spending.

Figure 3
Figure 3

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