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Short-Form DRTV

Research: 1Q Short-Form DRTV Media Billings Fall Below $1 Billion

16 Aug, 2010 By: Jackie Jones Response

The ‘Food and Beverage’ category enjoys a 79.1-percent gain, while ‘Computers, Software and Home Office’ declines $14.8 million.

First-quarter 2010 short-form DRTV media results provided by Kantar Media (formerly TNS Media Intelligence) showed a loss of about $27 million from 1Q 2009. Though only a 2.7-percent drop, 1Q results fell under the $1 billion mark for the first time since 2007, landing at $995,750,300.

First-quarter 2010 also reflected a loss of about $52.3 million from 4Q 2009, a 5-percent drop from the $1.05 billion recorded during the final three months of the past year.

‘Food and Beverage’ Inhales an Extra $9.5M

Only five of the 17 categories claimed gains this quarter when compared to the same period in 2009. “Crafts, Hobbies, Sporting Goods and Toys” showed the highest dollar gain with a $25.4 million increase (28.4 percent), pushing its total to $89.3 million, while “Food and Beverage” earned the top percentage-gainer honors by far, boasting a 79.1-percent increase of $9.5 million, bringing its 1Q 2010 total to about $12 million.

“Automotive and Travel,” “Business” and “Correspondence Schools” also showed gains in 1Q 2010 totals, with a 45.7-percent climb of $3.1 million, a 24-percent increase of $13.5 million and a 4.7-percent gain of $434,500, respectively.

The “Computers, Software and Home Office” and “General” categories suffered the greatest dollar losses from 1Q 2009, with declines of $14.8 million (25.1 percent) and $15 million (12.3 percent), respectively. “Collectibles and Art” saw the greatest percentage loss of 79.8 percent to $1.1 million, down $4.1 million from the same period in 2009.

Cable Remains Dominant

Despite a slight dollar loss from 4Q 2009, cable TV was the sole outlet of media distribution that saw a first-quarter gain when compared to the previous year, with a 7.9-percent increase of $58.2 million, bringing its 1Q 2010 total to $736.3 million. This is in sharp contrast to the previous year’s 1Q results, which saw a devastating 16.8-percent drop down to $678 million.

The remaining four categories saw a combined loss of $85.4 million in the first quarter. Syndication suffered the greatest percentage loss — 34.8 percent ($30.3 million) — followed by a 28.1-percent ($17.6 million) drop for spot TV, a 23.1-percent ($13.4 million) decline for network TV and a 17.6-percent ($24.1 million) loss for Hispanic network TV.

Nutrisystem at No. 1 With 56.4-Percent Spending Increase

The total number of short-form DRTV campaigns aired in the first quarter of 2010 — 1,486 — signified a 21.9-percent increase when compared to the same period of the previous year, as well as a slight increase of 2.4 percent from 4Q 2009. The average spent on a campaign declined a significant 24 percent ($211,806), more than double the decrease shown in 1Q 2009. The average spent on a campaign outside the top 40 decreased 30.4 percent, a drop of $131,767.

The top 40 campaigns accounted for 43.7 percent of the total, a decrease from the 52.6 percent of 1Q 2009. The top 10 campaigns totaled $308.9 million (69 percent), a major increase from the 25.1 percent of the previous first quarter.

The top 40 included 14 new campaigns compared to 4Q 2009. Dell Inspiron 1564 enjoyed the highest debut, ranking at No. 8. Nutrisystem Inc. moved up from No. 4 to take the top spot with an increase of $44.3 million in spending, bumping Proactiv Solution to No. 2. Proactiv Solution also increased its spending by $25.3 million (35.5 percent) when compared to fourth-quarter 2009.

Despite significant increases in spending by top campaigns, the failure of 1Q 2010 totals to reach the $1 billion mark is cause for concern. A strengthening general ad space, signified by a bounce back in 2010 fall upfront sales may bode for an even tighter market in coming months, especially if the DR business doesn’t return to the upside of $1B in the second quarter.

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