4Q 2008 Short-Form DRTV Media Billings Level Off at $1.1 Billion1 May, 2009 By: Shay Moftakhar Response
Top-40 spending retracts $171.9 million, as cable TV shrinks $151.5 million.
Spinnin' 45s on the Ole Network
Three of the five outlets of media distribution posted gains in the fourth quarter. Network TV continued its third-quarter 2008 rebound into 4Q with a 45-percent rise of $15.4 million. Spot TV and syndication maintained their 2008 quarterly advances with 18.4-percent ($10.6 million) and 13.3-percent ($10.2 million) gains respectively.
Continuing its third-quarter nosedive, cable TV again squandered almost half of its 4Q 2007 gain of $391.5 million with a sizeable 16.5-percent loss of $151.5 million — down to $765.3 million. Cable TV's losses in 3Q and 4Q 2008 exceeded the short-form market's total losses in the second half of 2008. Hispanic network TV finally crossed into the red with a sizeable $25.3 million drop. This outlet was the top gainer in 1Q 2008, jumping up $37.5 million, but its $4.5 million and $1.7 million gains in the second and third quarters were merely a precursor to this drop. The Hispanic short-form market has been rumored as one of the early casualties during the current recession, and these numbers prove it.
Give Your Loved One a Snuggie
Bucking the trend of the previous two quarters, the total number of short-form DRTV campaigns aired increased by 3 percent to 1,328, setting another all-time record. The average cost of a campaign based on the total fell 14.1 percent, but the average cost of a campaign outside the top 40 increased 2.5 percent.
The top 40 campaigns accounted for 52.8 percent ($584 million) of the total. The total spend in the top 40 contracted 22.7 percent ($171.9 million) from 4Q 2007. The top 10 campaigns totaled $277.8 million — shrinking $89.8 million from one year ago. The amount spent on a campaign in order to rank in the top 40 slid by 17.7 percent, or nearly $1.6 million.
The top 40 included 13 new campaigns compared to 3Q 2008. Cash4Gold, which debuted at No. 2 in the third quarter, claimed the No. 1 spot this quarter. ShamWow jumped from No. 20 to No. 6, while Snuggie enjoyed the highest debut in 4Q 2008, jumping into the No. 10 spot.