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Long-Form Media Billings Rise 3.3 Percent in 2Q 2008

1 Oct, 2008 By: Shay Moftakhar Response

More than 500,000 timeslots are purchased as the average cost of a half-hour block falls below $620.


Bucking the recession and the overall uncertainty plaguing the economy, long-form DRTV media billings in second-quarter 2008 rose 3.3 percent against 2Q 2007 results, docking in at $310,058,600. Following the 5.5-percent gain in 1Q 2008, the first half of 2008 signifies that, perhaps, the long-form market is beginning to sail out of doldrums of 2007.

This quarter's figures remain 9 percent, or $31 million, below 2Q 2006's all-time record. However, two vital records were set this quarter that easily offset any shortcoming in spending: for the first time since Response began compiling long-form DRTV media billings, the total number of timeslots purchased in a quarter surpassed the half-million mark with 500,309; and the average cost of a half-hour block sank to $619.73.

Fig. 1 Total Quarterly Long-Form Media Billings
Fig. 1 Total Quarterly Long-Form Media Billings

 

The Rebound

 

Eight of the 15 categories claimed second-quarter advances. Interestingly, all eight had suffered setbacks in 2Q 2007. Percentage-wise, "Entertainment, Travel and Psychic Services" came out of its coma to post nearly a 14-fold increase of $2.2 million. "Crafts, Collectibles and Hobbies" followed suit with an 888.6-percent rise ($8.75 million). "Home and Garden" led the dollar-gainers with a $24.6 million leap, representing a 244.8-percent rebound. "Cosmetics, Hair and Personal Care" was second with a $19.9 million gain. All four categories continued as percentage and dollar leaders from 1Q 2008.

 Fig. 2 Second-Quarter 2008 Long-Form Billings in the Top 30 Markets
Fig. 2 Second-Quarter 2008 Long-Form Billings in the Top 30 Markets

Leading this quarter's band of losers, the "Financial and Business Opportunities" category lost $20.6 million (39.2 percent), suffering its fourth consecutive quarter of losses. "Diet, Weight Loss, Nutrition and Food" trimmed $10.3 million for an unhealthy 38.7-percent demise. "Personal Development, Self-Help and Education" cut $7 million, losing 51.3 percent. The sharpest decline came in the "Fundraising" category, which suffered an 87.6-percent slide of $815,200.

 

Half-a-Million Reasons

 

Only one of the three forms of media distribution reported a gain this quarter. National cable avenged its $14.9 million loss of 2Q 2007 with a $14.9 million increase this quarter, topping 2Q 2006 by a mere $19,700. Broadcast continued to slide in the second quarter with a loss of just less than $4.3 million — in contrast to 1Q 2008's $28.3 million increase. Satellite shed $709,300 — a tough drop for a category that had gained $1.4 million on its 1Q 2008 results.

Fig. 3 Second-Quarter 2008 Long-Form Categorical Distribution
Fig. 3 Second-Quarter 2008 Long-Form Categorical Distribution

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