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Media Billings

Short-Form DRTV Billings Crash in First Quarter

1 Aug, 2013 By: Thomas Haire Response

Total spending plummets $185M, as Hispanic network TV provides the lone bright spot.


Kantar Media’s first-quarter 2013 short-form DRTV media billings results dropped a frightful 17.5 percent from the same timeframe one year ago, totaling $875,085,900. The decrease of $185.9 million dollars left first-quarter results at a level not seen since 2006 — below $900 million.

Losses were widespread, with only a few positive glimmers across media distribution figures, vertical category results, total campaigns and per campaign spending.

A Few Seeds but No Flowers

Just four of the 17 categories claimed gains this quarter when compared to the same period from 2012. “Publishers and Book Clubs” earned top dollar-gainer honors, adding $24.7 million (nearly 158 percent) to its total from 1Q 2012, while “Lawn, Garden, Seeds and Bulbs” garnered a nearly eight-fold gain of $16.1 million. The “Automotive and Travel” (up $16 million, or 296 percent) and “Apparel” (up $2.7 million, or 8.4 percent) categories were the only other winners during first-quarter 2013.

On the other hand, “Drug and Toiletry” gave back nearly every penny of its 1Q 2012 increase of $79 million. The category dropped a stunning $75.2 million in first-quarter 2013, losing almost 15 percent of its total spend. “Household, Furniture and Appliances” almost matched that loss dollar-for-dollar, losing more than $65 million compared to the year prior, a 48.7-percent freefall. And the “Crafts, Hobbies, Sporting Goods and Toys” continued its first-quarter losses, building on 2012’s troubling results by losing $28.2 million (46.1 percent).

El Rayo de Sol

Hispanic network TV soared to new heights in 1Q 2013. Spending in the outlet rose 71 percent to $196.5 million — an $81.6 million leap. That success helped Hispanic network TV more than double its market share — to 22.5 percent. Only spot TV also enjoyed a positive bump in the first quarter, with its $8.8 million rise in spending lifting it out of last place among the five TV outlets (its market share bounced up 1.7 points to 5 percent).

The brunt of the quarter’s losses hit the cable TV outlet, which lost nearly one-third of its total spending from 1Q 2012. The $254.6 million decrease left cable with a total of $564.4 million — still the lion’s share of the market. But its market share decreased from 77.2 percent a year ago to 64.5 percent in 1Q 2013. Network TV’s $13.2 million loss left its market share at the bottom of the chart (just 3.3 percent), while syndication lost $8.4 million as well.

Per-Campaign Spending Wallows

The total number of short-form DRTV campaigns aired in first-quarter 2013 — 1,082 — signified a 4.9-percent decrease when compared to the same period in 2012. However, unlike a year ago when spending per campaign figures were the highest in four years, those results dropped precipitously, especially outside the top 40 campaigns. The average money spent on a campaign based on the total this quarter fell 13.3 percent to $808,767, while the average money spent on a campaign outside the top 40 stumbled even worse, falling 19.2 percent to $352,288.

At $508 million, the top 40 campaigns accounted for 58.1 percent of total 1Q 2013 short-form DRTV media billings. The top 10 campaigns totaled $273.9 million — or 31.3 percent of the quarter’s total spending.

The top two campaigns in 1Q 2013 remained the same as a year ago — Proactiv Solution ($57.2 million) and Nutrisystem Inc. ($53.6 million). The top 40 campaigns of 1Q 2013 included 23 new campaigns compared to first-quarter 2012, with Micro Ear enjoying the highest debut at No. 4. ■


About the Author: Thomas Haire

Thomas Haire

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