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Short-Form DRTV

Fourth-Quarter 2010 Short-Form DRTV Media Billings Dip 1.9 Percent

1 May, 2011 By: Jackie Jones Response

Fourth-quarter 2010 short-form DRTV media billings provided by Kantar Media showed a loss of just less than $20 million from 4Q 2009. Though any decrease — even just a 1.9-percent dip — is never good news, the quarter’s $1,028,049,400 total is the highest quarterly total recorded this year for short-form media billings. Results from the year show 2010 falling $204.6 million short of 2009’s year-end results, a 4.9-percent drop, with some quarterly totals dropping below the $1 billion mark for the first time in three years. Still, total 2010 short-form DRTV media billings topped the $4 billion mark once again.

Computers Make a Comeback

Seven of the 17 measured categories claimed gains, one short of 4Q 2009. The “Computers, Software and Home Office” category swept the winners, earning both the top-dollar and top-percentage honors with a spike of $30.1 million (46 percent). Other gains were less significant, with many seeing percentage increases of only 5 percent or less. However, “Correspondence Schools” enjoyed a healthy 20.4-percent increase of $202,900 when compared to 4Q 2009, while “Video Supplies and Equipment” jumped 10.7 percent (about $5.5 million).

The “Household, Furniture and Appliances” category took an especially hard hit this quarter, suffering the worst dollar-on-dollar loss — $23.1 million (13.5 percent), a contrast to results from the same quarter a year prior when it claimed top dollar-gainer honors. The “Multiple Category Ad” saw the greatest percentage loss in 4Q 2010, dropping 86.1 percent ($3,237,700).

Cable Claims the Upper Hand

Only one of the five outlets of media distribution posted gains in the fourth quarter. Cable TV continued to expand its dominance in the market as the sole outlet to see an increase, albeit a slight one of just 1.5 percent (about $12 million). Spot TV suffered the worst dollar and percentage losses of $13.1 million and 28.2 percent. Though Network TV also dropped 2.5 percent ($662,200), the outlet increased its percentage of media distribution in the market by 0.4 percentage points.

The total number of short-form DRTV campaigns aired in 4Q 2010 dropped by 182, a 12.6-percent decrease when compared to 4Q 2009. However, the average money spent on a campaign — both within and outside the top 40 — jumped to encouragingly high numbers. The average amount spent on a campaign based on the total increased 10.9 percent ($87,974.10) to $810,764.51, the third highest recorded since 2005. The average money spent on a campaign outside the top 40 took top honors, jumping 18 percent to $419,382.40, the highest total on record since 2005.

Bouncing Back to Billion Dollar Mark

The top 40 campaigns accounted for 50 percent ($513 million) of 4Q 2010 totals,

with the top 10 campaigns equaling just more than $250 million. Both totals fall short of totals from the fourth-quarter of the year prior, which saw an $18.5 million rise in top-10 spending.

The top 40 included 22 new campaigns compared to 4Q 2009. 1-800-Contacts, which has held the No. 1 spot for three consecutive quarters this year, again claimed the top spot (held by Proactiv Solution in 4Q 2009), spending $46,439,200. The iRenew Bracelet brand claimed the highest ranking among 4Q 2010 newcomers at No. 8 with $17,273,900 in spending.

Though the short-form market continues to struggle with slight declines, the fact that annual total remained above the $4 billion mark is a hopeful sign that, even in down years, short-form DRTV media remains ever popular. Though the number of campaigns aired dropped, the increase in campaign spending is a sign of returning confidence in the market, a key trend to watch for in 2011.


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