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Top-40 Spending Freefall Helps Push 3Q 2008 Short-Form Media Billings Down 7 Percent

1 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.

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

 

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.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

"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.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

 

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.

 Fig. 4
Fig. 4

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