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Media Billings

4Q 2012 Short-Form DRTV Media Billings Rise $35.5M

1 May, 2013 By: Thomas Haire Response

Total short-form DRTV billings rise 4.1 percent for the year. Hispanic media and the ‘Drug and Toiletry’ category key the quarter’s success.

Fourth-quarter 2012 short-form DRTV media billings provided by Kantar Media rose more than $35.5 million, a 3.4-percent increase when compared to 4Q 2011. The solid performance helped cap off a stellar year, as total short-form DRTV media billings reached nearly $4.5 billion in 2012, rising 4.1 percent from 2011.

Looking back to the soft year that was 2010, these final 2012 totals represent an even more impressive 11.7-percent jump during the past two years.

‘Drug and Toiletry’ Vertical Carries the Quarter

Seven of the 17 measured categories claimed gains, two fewer than in 4Q 2011. The ever-expanding “Drug and Toiletry” category boasted the greatest dollar increase — a huge $149.4 million, or 41-percent better than 4Q 2011. “Publishers and Book Clubs” also enjoyed a significant dollar boost of $22.4 million (125 percent). Other big gainers by percentage include the “Lawn, Garden, Seeds and Bulbs” category (up 948 percent, or $10.6 million) and “Automotive and Travel,” which rose 209 percent ($18.1 million).

The “Apparel” category took an especially hard hit this quarter, suffering the second-worst dollar-on-dollar loss ($31.9 million) and third-worst percentage loss (55.4 percent). The “Household, Furniture and Appliances” category got hit for the biggest dollar loss — $43.6 million — while the “Multiple Category Ad” group posted the worst percentage decline: 96.5 percent.

Total Quartly Short -Form Media BillingsFourth Quarterly 2012 Short Form DRTV Media Distribution

Hispanic Media Powers Up

Just one of the five outlets of media distribution posted a gain in the fourth quarter — and what a gain it was! The Hispanic Network TV outlet (the lone loser in the space in 4Q 2011) made its strongest statement yet, adding nearly $125 million in expenditures year-on-year. The Hispanic space’s 139-percent jump earned it more than 11 points of market share, taking most of that from the Cable TV outlet, which lost nearly $69 million and nine points of share from 4Q 2011.

The total number of short-form DRTV campaigns aired in 4Q 2012 dropped by 80, a 6.9-percent decline when compared to 4Q 2011. However, the average money spent on a campaign overall leapt strongly — rising 11.1 percent to more than $1 million per campaign — while spending outside the top 40 dropped by 1.8 percent

Bouncing Back to Billions

Witt that slight drop in spending per campaign outside the top 40, combined with the fact that total top-40 spending rose almost $80 million, it’s clear, however, that the leading campaigns were more than willing to gobble up more expensive media time while the rest of the market stood pat. The top 40 campaigns accounted for 57.8 percent ($621 million) of 4Q 2012 totals, a 14.7-percent jump from 4Q 2011.

The top 40 campaigns in 4Q 2012 included 24 new campaigns when compared to the same quarter of 2011. Newcomer Bon Balm outraced long-time standout Proactiv Solution for the No. 1 spot, spending $73 million in the quarter.

While the continuing decline in the number of campaigns aired suggests a further tightening of market testing, stronger pricing and the willingness of the most successful marketers to continue to pour more and more money into short-form DRTV campaigns made 2012 the most successful year in the space since 2007. ■

Fourth Quarter 2012 Short Form DRTV: Dollars Spent by Media Type


Kantar Media

Kantar Media is the leading provider of strategic media and marketing information. Utilizing highly innovative tracking technologies, the company collects expenditure, occurrence and creative intelligence on millions of brands across 20 media. These figures are based on Kantar Media’s multimedia ad expenditure database across the following measured media: Network TV, Spot TV, Cable TV, Syndication and Hispanic Network TV. Figures do not contain public service announcement (PSA) data.

For information about Kantar Media, call (212) 991-6000 or visit


About the Author: Thomas Haire

Thomas Haire

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