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Research

Long-Form Media Billings Drop $24.5 Million in 4Q 2008

1 Apr, 2009 By: Shay Moftakhar Response

Total 2008 long-form billings decline $36.8 million.


 

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Mimicking third-quarter 2008, losses were divided between the national cable and broadcast outlets. National cable posted a 3.2-percent drop of $4.5 million, while broadcast again took the brunt of the hit with a 15-percent fall of $20.6 million. Meanwhile, satellite managed to advance $640,000 — a 3.3-percent gain.

The total number of timeslots purchased for 4Q 2008 was 429,184, falling 4.2 percent from 4Q 2007. National cable's market share declined by 0.3 points to 23.2 percent as 5,504 fewer time slots were purchased. Broadcast lost 2.2 percentage points of, dropping 22,524 slots. Satellite made up the deficit with a 2.5-point increase in market share, thanks to a 30.4-percent gain in timeslots, recouping almost half of the 19,875 slots it lost in 4Q 2007.

Figure. 5 Number of Time Slots and Percentage of Total Time Slots Purchased in Fourth-Quarter 2008
Figure. 5 Number of Time Slots and Percentage of Total Time Slots Purchased in Fourth-Quarter 2008

The average cost of a half-hour block of time continued to fall in 4Q 2008, with a 4.2-percent decrease to $635.14. This was almost identical to 4Q 2007's 4-percent drop of $27.72.

Mimicking third-quarter 2008, spending in the top 30 markets also rebounded in the fourth quarter. Overall spending in the top 30 markets grew by $19.5 million, up 12.9 percent (these markets lost about a half-million dollars in 4Q 2007). During the previous fourth quarter, the top 30 markets accounted for 50.9-percent of total spending, but in 4Q 2008, top-30 spending represented 62.6 percent—an 11.7-point gain. Oddly, the top 10 markets fell $4.3 million — a 6-percent decrease. But markets 11-20 ($13.6 million growth of 31.2 percent) and markets 21-30 ($10.2 million or 28 percent growth) more than made up for it.

Figure. 6 Average Cost of a Half-Hour Block of Time Purchased in Fourth-Quarter 2008: $635.14
Figure. 6 Average Cost of a Half-Hour Block of Time Purchased in Fourth-Quarter 2008: $635.14

 

Hope

 

In this topsy-turvy economy, the strength of DRTV has managed to hold firm thus far. No doubt, the economic atmosphere of the entire country will likely change in the coming years, yet one thing has proven golden: a good product and a well-run campaign are recession-proof. These are the times that will test the mettle of all marketers. In times of plenty, everyone looks good, but in times of hardship, only the smart survive.

Long-Form Media Indices are conducted quarterly by the staff of Response. It represents in-house, non-brokered media billings for all agencies and marketers known to have purchased long-form (30 minutes) media during fourth-quarter 2008.

Companies that couldn't or wouldn't reveal their media billings by press time were estimated based on previous responses to surveys on the quarter in question and based on projects they were known to be involved with.

For the survey, the top 10 markets include: New York; Los Angeles; Chicago; Philadelphia; San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose; Boston; Washington, D.C.; Dallas-Ft. Worth; Detroit and Atlanta.

Markets 11-20 are: Houston; Seattle-Tacoma; Cleveland; Minneapolis-Sarasota; Miami-Ft. Lauderdale; Pittsburgh; Denver; Phoenix and St. Louis.

Markets 21-30 are: Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto; Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne; Baltimore; Indianapolis; Portland; Hartford-New Haven; San Diego; Charlotte; Milwaukee and Cincinnati.

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