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Long-Form Media Billings Start 2008 With 5-Percent Bump

1 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.

The extra spending in broadcast translated to a 19.2-percent rise — an additional 52,187 timeslots — increasing its market share by 4.5 percentage points. National cable's market share decreased by 1.1 points, as 6,747 fewer timeslots were purchased — a 6.4-percent retraction. Satellite continues to struggle, losing 25.5 percent (10,772 timeslots), but only 0.4 points of its market share. The extra number of timeslots purchased managed to push the average cost of a half-hour block to $695.49, an all-time first-quarter low. This figure is 5.8-percent (or $42.88) below 1Q 2007's figure.

Spending in the top 30 markets remained remarkably stable in 1Q 2008, with only a tiny $46,100 increase of 0.024 percent. Top-30 spending this quarter represented 59.3 percent of the total, down nearly three points from 1Q 2007. The top 10 markets gained 1.5 percent or $1.3 million. Markets 11-20 suffered a 13.7-percent loss, dropping $9.2 million. Markets 21-30 brought the total into the black with a $7.88 million gain.

Figure 5
Figure 5


Expecting a Recession?


This year I will hold off on all predictions, especially in light of a strong first quarter in the midst of economic uncertainty. Rising unemployment, foreclosures, fuel costs, a weakened dollar and so on would usually translate to a weak consumer sector, but a record first quarter for Wal-Mart and an expanding DR market signals that the American consumer is alive and well.

Figure 6
Figure 6

I believe the diminishing levels of expendable income have already damaged big ticket and luxury goods purchases for the immediate future, making price point the focus for marketers for the rest of 2008. Consumers still want to spend, but they are looking for deals and knick-knacks that won't break the bank.

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