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DR Radio

3Q DR Radio Media Billings Crash 37 Percent

5 Mar, 2010 By: Thomas Haire Response

Top-10 spending decrease mirrors total, but network radio spending suffers a 57-percent nosedive.


Third-quarter 2009 DR radio media billings results, provided by Kantar Media (formerly TNS Media Intelligence), show a precipitous slide of 37 percent from same-quarter totals one year ago, losing more than $4.5 million. Just one quarter ago, DR radio media billings fell below $10 million in a quarter for the first time in the six years Response has been analyzing Kantar Media’s data — but the 3Q 2009 total of just more than $7.7 million guarantees that 2009 will be the worst year on record for DR radio media billings.

This quarter’s results are off by nearly 63 percent from Kantar’s first 3Q report provided to Response in 2004 — down from $20,783,700 in that year’s third quarter. Network radio, once the stalwart of these billings, continued to freefall, with the category losing 57 percent of its billings from a year ago.

Spending on the top 10 campaigns mirrored overall losses, while the total number of unique individual campaigns for the medium stabilized, dropping from 61 in 3Q 2008 to 59 this quarter.

A Categorical Disaster

Just two of the 17 vertical categories reported advances in 3Q 2009, the least for any quarter on record. And those advances were extremely minimal compared to some shocking losses — the “General” category gained $163,500, while “Apparel” gained $8,700.

The losers were led by the “Household, Furniture and Appliances” category, which dropped more than $2.8 million (a 55-percent loss). The “Drug and Toiletry” (29 percent) and “Audio Supplies and Equipment” (42 percent) categories each dropped more than a half-million dollars from 3Q 2008 results. Five other categories lost more than half of their 3Q 2008 totals. The “Multiple Category Ad” space, always one of the biggest categories, suffered just less than a 10-percent decline — qualifying as good news in this abominable quarter.

Both the “Automotive” and “Collectibles and Art” categories reported a zero once again, mirroring both 3Q 2008 and 2Q 2009 results.

Local Control

All three DR radio media outlets reported losses in the third quarter, with network and national spot radio both suffering precipitous declines. Network radio’s 57-percent loss (nearly $3.9 million) was truly staggering, as the category lost more than 17 percentage points of market share to fall from its leadership perch. National spot radio, meanwhile, lost three-quarters of its 3Q 2008 total, and more than half of its already miniscule market share.

Once again, local radio helped pick up the pieces by suffering comparably minimal losses. The category’s 11-percent decline of just more than $500,000 helped it gain 18 points of market share, and the space now controls more than three of every five minutes of DR radio advertising. This is only the seventh quarter in the past six years that local radio has outspent network radio (the fifth in the past two years).

The total number of unique DR radio campaigns measured during 3Q 2009 dropped to 59, a 3.3-percent decline. The average money spent on a campaign based on the total decreased nearly 35 percent, dropping to $130,625. The average outside the top 10 decreased even more — 36 percent — with $17,082 less spent per campaign.

Top-10 spending decreased very similarly to overall spending, dropping nearly 37 percent to more than $6.2 million. Eight campaigns from 3Q 2008’s top-10 list made this quarter’s list, while “Tempur-Pedic Inc.” checked in at No. 6 with $327,000 spent and Goldline Intl. Inc. was No. 10 (down one spot from 2Q 2009) with $221,900 spent. While “Select Comfort” retained its No. 1 ranking, it saw a drop in spending of nearly $2.9 million from 3Q 2008 results. “Hershey Chocolate USA” rose to No. 2 thanks to a 39-percent jump in spending. n

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