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Short-Form DRTV Billings Continue to Climb in 1Q 2017

1 Aug, 2017 By: Thomas Haire Response

First-quarter 2017 numbers track a similar path the final quarter of 2016 — a 33.1-percent rise led by cable and “Household” spending.

Closely mirroring fourth-quarter 2016’s strong increase, Kantar Media’s first-quarter 2017 short-form DRTV media billings notched a third consecutive quarterly increase: this time, $205.7 million (33.1 percent) to reach $828,084,800. The leap was, again, powered by a huge increase in “Household, Furniture, and Appliances” spending, as well as a powerful push in the “Drug and Toiletry” category. A nine-figure increase in cable outlet spending also helped.

The “Drug” category and cable outlet increases marked major flip-flops from strong 1Q 2016 losses. Another big boost: the top five short-form DRTV products — which were the same as the year prior — increased spending by a combined $102.9 million.

Big Gains in the House

The cable TV marketplace continued a powerful expansion that began in 4Q 2016, adding $198.8 million (46 percent) to its spending when compared to first-quarter 2016 results. Two other media outlets also gained — network TV rose $1.6 million (4.8 percent) and spot TV jumped $11.3 million (22.6 percent) — but cable’s big gain helped it add nearly seven points of market share to account for more than $3 of every $4 spent in short-form DRTV media. Syndication lost $3.6 million (6.1 percent) while Hispanic network TV dipped $2.3 million (4.9 percent).

The “Household, Furniture, and Appliances” category continued its recent hot streak due to increased spending by one of short-form’s top products — My Pillow — and the debut of six new products among the top 40. The category grew by $59.5 million (77.6 percent). Only short-form’s behemoth, “Drug and Toiletry” gained more spending — $134.9 million (44.7 percent). “Crafts, Hobbies, Sporting Goods, and Toys” and “Automotive and Travel” combined to add $33 million in increased spend compared to 1Q 2016.

Among the losers, the “General” category continued to flounder, facing a $15.8 million (34.2 percent) loss. “Computers, Software, and Home Office” (down $12 million/70.5 percent) and “Publishers and Book Clubs” (down $11.4 million/76.8 percent) also struggled in first-quarter 2017.

Top-Five Spending Booms

Much like the prior three quarters, the number of short-form DRTV campaigns aired dropped — this time by 22.8 percent to 998. Unsurprisingly, this meant per-campaign spending jumped, based both on the total and outside the top 40: per-campaign spending hit $829,744, a 72.4-percent increase, while spending per campaign outside the top 40 — $294,087 — rose 85.1 percent. All three figures were similar to first-quarter 2015 results.

Twenty-one of the campaigns that appeared in 1Q 2016’s top 40 returned in first-quarter 2017. As noted above, the top five’s order remained unchanged — Nutrisystem, Proactiv Solution, My Pillow,, and Colonial Penn — but all five increased spending compared with the year prior. Nutrisystem spending jumped $47.6 million and Proactiv’s spiked by $32.1 million. The strongest newcomer was South Beach Diet, which checked in with $15.2 million to reach No. 6. ■


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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