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Finally, A Glimmer of Hope

1 Aug, 2014 By: Thomas Haire Response

Short-form DRTV media billings expand for the first time in more than a year, rising 9.2 percent.

After a brutal 2013, short-form DRTV media billings enjoyed a shot in the arm in first-quarter 2014, as Kantar Media’s results showed a 9.2-percent increase from the same timeframe one year ago, totaling $955,157,000. The increase of $80.1 million dollars gained back 43.1 percent of the losses suffered in a difficult 1Q 2013.

Gains were widespread across all outlets and especially in top-40 spending. And while some vertical categories struggled during the quarter, a number of short-form’s traditional leaders enjoyed solid results.

A Booster Shot

Eight of the 17 categories claimed gains this quarter when compared to the same period from 2013, doubling the success stories from a year ago. The top dollar gainer was the “Drug and Toiletry” category, which continued to ride a 1Q roller coaster, gaining $88.3 million (20.1 percent) — more than making up for its $75.2 million drop a year ago. The “Lawn, Garden, Seeds and Bulbs” category maintained a first-quarter hot streak, tacking $45.5 million in 1Q 2014 on top of its a $16.1 million jump a year ago. And the “Home and Building” category constructed a big quarter, more than doubling its 1Q 2013 total by adding $34.8 million.

On the losing side of the ledger, the “General” category dropped more than $71.3 million — a loss of 92.9 percent. The “Household, Furniture and Appliances” category continued losing first-quarter ground. After slipping more than $65 million in 1Q 2013, the category fell another $35.9 million in first-quarter 2014. “Publishers and Book Clubs” suffered a U-turn from its first-quarter 2013 success, losing $20.4 million of the $24.7 million it had gained in the first quarter a year ago.

The Spanish Quarter

Hispanic network TV continued to gain spending and market share in first-quarter 2014, gaining 25 percent to $245.1 million — a $48.6 million spike. As you’d imagine with results like that, the outlet gained in market share, reaching 25.6 percent. Yes, that’s right — more than $1 of every $4 spent in short-form DRTV in first-quarter 2014 was spent on Spanish-language television.

The other four outlets also enjoyed spending increases, ranging from spot TV’s $2 million rise to syndication’s $13.3 million bump. Cable TV’s $6.6 million rise represented just a 1.2-percent increase, which meant that the outlet lost 4.7 points of market share. Network TV enjoyed a solid quarter, gaining $9.6 million in spending (32.7 percent) — which was good enough for the outlet to gain nearly a full point in market share.

Top-40 Spending Soars

The total number of short-form DRTV campaigns aired in first-quarter 2014 decreased 9.1 percent from the same period in 2013. However, spending across the top 40 campaigns spiked, with marketers willing to ride a winner. Top-40 spending leapt $137.5 million (27.1 percent) and represented 67.6 percent of total spending. One year ago, top-40 spending only represented 58.1 percent of the total. Of course, this meant that, while the average money spent on a campaign based on the total in 1Q 2014 rose 20 percent, the average money spent on a campaign outside the top 40 fell to its lowest level since 2010.

The marketers behind the quarter’s top two campaigns remained the same as a year ago, but Guthy-Renker’s Proactiv Plus ($77.9 million) replaced Proactiv Solution in the top spot, while Nutrisystem Inc. ($56.8 million) remained No. 2. Overall, 22 newcomers joined first-quarter 2014’s top 40 when compared to first-quarter 2013. ■





Kantar Media is the leading provider of strategic media and marketing information. Utilizing highly innovative tracking technologies, the company collects expenditure, occurrence and creative intelligence on millions of brands across 20 media. These figures are based on Kantar Media’s multimedia ad expenditure database across the following measured media: Network TV, Spot TV, Cable TV, Syndication and Hispanic Network TV. Figures do not contain public service announcement (PSA) data.

For information about Kantar Media, call (212) 991-6000 or visit

About the Author: Thomas Haire

Thomas Haire

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