Long-Form Media Billings Start 2008 With 5-Percent Bump1 Jul, 2008 By: Shay Moftakhar Response
A new 1Q record for number of timeslots purchased is set, as the average cost for a half-hour block of time falls below $700.
Long-form media billings set a new first-quarter record in 2008, rising 5 percent — $15.5 million — to $325,405,800. The results represent a 2.6-percent ($8.24 million) increase over 1Q 2006's previous record total and more than offsets 1Q 2007's 2.3-percent drop of $7.25 million.
The quarter also experienced two more important first-quarter records as the total number of timeslots purchased reached 467,883 and the average cost of a half-hour block fell below $700, settling in at $695.49.
Nine of the 15 categories celebrated first-quarter increases. Avenging its 1Q 2007 demise of 98.6-percent, the "Entertainment, Travel and Psychic Services" category conjured a 45-fold increase — from $38,700 to $1,791,600 — earning top percentage-gainer status. Also out of the blue, the "Crafts, Collectibles and Hobbies" category saw nearly a nine-fold increase of $8.8 million, swelling its total to just short of $10 million and rebounding from last year's 46.7-percent loss.
The top dollar-gainer was the "Home and Garden" category, with a 162.7-percent jump of $32.2 million, pushing its total to $51.9 million. The "Sports and Outdoor Activities" category also worked itself into shape, boasting an Olympic-sized increase of 190 percent.
Maintaining the trend started in the 3Q and 4Q 2007, the "Financial and Business Opportunities" category lost $36.7 million (54.1 percent). "Health and Fitness" experienced an unhealthy start, losing $12 million (17.7 percent) of its strength. The "Other" category earned biggest percentage loser status with a $5.4 million decline of 54.3 percent.
Two of the three forms of media distribution reported gains this quarter. Broadcast rebounded from 1Q 2007's $19.9 million loss with a $28.3 million resurgence — a 21.6-percent gain. Likewise, satellite reversed its 1Q 2007 $1.4 million loss with a $1.4 million (6.4-percent) advance in 1Q 2008, while national cable squandered its 1Q $14 million gain with a 9.1-percent reversal of $14.2 million. In the first quarter, it appears that 2008 seems to be returning to 2006's formula.
The total number of timeslots purchased continued to stay above 400,000 for the 11th consecutive quarter, starting the year with a new first quarter record of 467,883 — an extra 48,162 slots pushed the total up by 11.5 percent.