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Long-Form DRTV

Long-Form Media Billings Crawl Up 0.3 Percent in 3Q 2010

1 Jan, 2011 By: Jackie Jones, Thomas Haire Response

The average cost of a half-hour block in the third quarter is the second-lowest ever recorded.


Long-form media billings in third-quarter 2010 rose a slight 0.3 percent to $244,624,200. Though minimal, the increase is a positive change from the five-year low of 3Q 2009 when spending declined $21.1 million. This growth is the first seen for quarterly totals since third-quarter 2007, when spending broke the $300 million mark.

Other records of last year’s third quarter also took a reversal of fortunes, with the total number of time slots purchased declining by 427, a 0.1-percent dip, and the average cost of a half-hour block inching up a very slight $1.40 (0.4 percent). However, the average cost of a half-hour block in the third quarter is the second-lowest ever recorded.

Housewares Takes Turn for the Better

Nine of the 15 categories saw an increase in spending in third-quarter 2010 – similar to the second quarter of this year but an increase of two when compared to 3Q 2009. Many spending trends of 2Q 2010 carried over to the third quarter, with “Personal Development, Self-Help and Education” again seeing the greatest percentage spike of 59.3 percent ($13,482,100). However, “Housewares and Appliances” took a turn for the better, enjoying the biggest dollar increase — $21,875,400, a 41.2-percent jump.

“Health and Fitness” again took a hard hit this quarter, suffering the biggest dollar loss of $15,737,400 (a 33.8-percent dip), when compared to the third quarter of last year. The top percentage loser was “Crafts, Collectibles and Hobbies,” which took a 59.2-percent hit of $7,444,900.

Satellite Spending Suffers

Staying true to 3Q patterns going back to 2008, only one of the three forms of media distribution reported a gain this quarter. National cable advanced 6.6 percent ($8.7 million). Broadcast lost 1.9 percent, shrinking $1.8 million. In sharp contrast to last year’s third quarter, satellite took the hardest dollar and percentage hits, losing $6.1 million (23.1 percent).

The total number of time slots took a slight dip of just 427, a 0.1-percent loss when compared to 3Q 2009, pushing its total to 643,782. National cable decreased by 8,344 spots (5.7 percent) and satellite lost 12.8 percent of its market share with a decline of 10,375 spots. Broadcast was the sole outlet that saw an increase in the total number of time slots purchased, with a 4.2-percent jump of 18,292 spots.

The slight decrease in the number of time slots purchased pushed the average cost of a half-hour block of time up by 0.4 percent. Despite the $1.40 increase from 3Q 2009, it should be noted the amount is the second-lowest ever recorded, just behind the $378.58 reported in last year’s third quarter.

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