Top-40 Spending Freefall Helps Push 3Q 2008 Short-Form Media Billings Down 7 Percent1 Feb, 2009 By: Shay Moftakhar Response
Cable TV retracts 15.4 percent — a $135.5 million decrease in spending.
Halting 14 consecutive quarters of growth, third-quarter 2008 short-form DRTV media billings fell $83 million — a 7-percent setback. Data from TNS Media Intelligence (TNSMI) shows 3Q 2008 results barely topping $1.1 billion, compared to nearly $1.2 billion spent in 3Q 2007. A sharp 14-percent drop of $105 million in spending on the top 40 campaigns appears to be the main factor in the downturn.
Feeling Good in General
Only seven of the 17 measured categories claimed gains this quarter (13 categories gained spending during 3Q 2007). The "General" category claimed top dollar-gainer honors with a $73 million advance (85 percent) to settle in at just less than $159 million. The "Apparel" category enjoyed its third consecutive quarter as the top percentage gainer, earning a 412-percent boost of $14.8 million to push its total to $18.4 million. "Collectibles and Art" also made an impressive showing with a 275-percent jump of $4.5 million.
"Correspondence Schools" lost nearly $19.9 million, or 88 percent, of its total, squandering most of its 3Q 2007 gain of $20.6 million that had earned it top percentage-gainer status. The top three dollar-losing categories were "Household, Furniture and Appliances", "Video Supplies and Equipment" and "Audio Supplies and Equipment" with $38.9 million, $36.7 million and $35.8 million in losses respectively. Three other categories — "Business," "Crafts, Hobbies, Sporting Goods and Toys" and the aforementioned "Correspondence Schools" — didn't do much better, suffering losses totaling $62.9 million. These top six dollar decliners combined for almost $174.2 million in losses.
Cable Doesn't Win, Place or Show
Four of the five media distribution outlets posted gains in the third quarter. Network TV rebounded from its 3Q 2007 loss of $18.6 million with a 35.8-percent surge of $18.4 million. Syndication continued its 2008 advance with a 31.7-percent rise ($20.6 million). Spot TV improved by 25 percent with the help of an additional $11.9 million, and Hispanic network TV again managed to stay in the black with a $1.7 million gain.