2Q 2009 Long-Form Media Billings Decline $49 Million1 Oct, 2009 By: Shay Moftakhar Response
Four Benjamins, a Hamilton and a 50-Cent Piece
This recent outburst in timeslots purchased pushed the average cost of a half-hour block of time down to a new all-time low of $410.50 — 33.8-percent lower than 2Q 2008. This figure is also $141.80 below first-quarter 2009's then-record low of $552.30.
Had Response figured this quarter's total number of timeslots purchased with 2Q 2008's $619.73 average cost per half-hour, total spending would have exceeded $393 million, thus setting an all-time spending record just below $400 million. So while spending and costs are down, DRTV long-form activity and availability is clearly up through the first two quarters of 2009.
Reversing 2Q 2008's upward trend, spending in the top 30 markets declined by 16 percent, resulting in a $26 million overall loss. However, top-30 spending in 2Q 2009 maintained 52.7 percent of total market, similar to 2Q 2008. The top 10 markets slid 24 percent ($16.4 million), while markets 11-20 fell 21.8 percent ($13.4 million). However, markets 21-30 continued to increase, with a 7-percent gain of $2.7 million.
With unheard of bargains in the average cost of a half-hour block of time causing equally unheard of numbers of timeslots purchased, one seriously wonders if 2Q 2009 is an aberration or the shape of things to come? Is the drop in total spending to 2005 levels a byproduct of the current recession or a new plateau resulting from inexpensive time with a lingering price point? How long will it last? With talk of the recession bottoming out in the third quarter it will be interesting to monitor how the rest of 2009 shapes up.