Research: Pricing Decrease Keys 3Q Long-Form DRTV Billings Decline

Media Billings

For the second consecutive quarter, long-form DRTV media billings decreased — this time by $22.7 million year-over-year to register a third-quarter 2016 total of $192,157,100. The 10.6- percent loss leaves total spending in the first three quarters of 2016 about 3 percent shy of the first nine months of 2015 according to Response’s own research.

The big story, though, was lower pricing across the board for a 28:30 block of time, especially in the satellite and U.S. Hispanic marketplaces. This drove an expansion in time slots purchased in both outlets — with one category in particular pushing up satellite’s time slot balance.

Unlucky 13

Just two of the 15 measured categories reported gains in 3Q 2016, with the “Other” category notching the most notable rise for the third consecutive quarter — another indicator of the changing face of DRTV. The category leapt $21.4 million in 3Q 2016, a 19-fold increase from the previous year’s total. The “Financial and Business Opportunities” category was the only other to post numbers in the black, rising a modest $19,600 compared to third-quarter 2015.

Among the losers, the “Health and Fitness” category slumped for a third consecutive quarter in 2016, losing $11.4 million (22 percent) of its 3Q 2015 total. “Diet, Weight Loss, Nutrition, and Food” shed almost 78 percent of its third-quarter 2015 total to land at $2.3 million. And another of long-form’s big three, “Cosmetics, Hair, and Personal Care,” dropped nearly $6.9 million (a 10-percent loss).

Costs Drop, Slots Pop

Spending was up in just one of the four media outlets — satellite rose 3.2 percent ($446,300). And though U.S. Hispanic dipped a modest 1.3 percent, the cable and broadcast outlets split the quarter’s losses nearly evenly: cable slipped $11.5 million (11.5 percent) while broadcast slid $11.6 million (12.2 percent).

The total number of time slots purchased rose by nearly 39,000 (6.1 percent) in third-quarter 2016 — not enough to offset the average cost of a half-hour block dipping by 15.8 percent ($54.14). While broadcast (13.2 percent) and cable (8.5 percent) pricing declined, the cost decreases in U.S. Hispanic (26.4 percent and satellite (36.1 percent) were even more significant. The price drop in satellite pushed the “Cosmetics” category to invest heavily, helping drive satellite’s total spots purchased up by almost 62 percent. Broadcast and U.S. Hispanic also added time slots compared to 3Q 2015.

Spending in the top 30 markets decreased $5.3 million. Spending in the top 10 markets slid $3.5 million (7.9 percent); spending in markets 11-20 dipped $846,000 (3.7 percent); and spending in markets 21-30 faded by $954,800 (7.3 percent). ■




Long-Form Media Indices are conducted quarterly by the staff of Response. It represents in-house, non-brokered media billings for all agencies and marketers known to have purchased long-form (30 minutes) media during third-quarter 2016.

Companies that couldn’t or wouldn’t reveal their media billings by press time were estimated based on previous responses to surveys on the quarter in question and based on projects they were known to be involved with.

For the survey, the top 10 markets include: New York; Los Angeles; Chicago; Philadelphia; Dallas-Ft. Worth; San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose; Boston; Washington, D.C.; Atlanta; and Houston.

Markets 11-20 are: Detroit; Seattle-Tacoma; Phoenix; Tampa-St. Petersburg; Minneapolis-St. Paul; Miami-Fort Lauderdale; Denver; Cleveland; Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne; and Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto.

Markets 21-30 are: St. Louis; Portland, Ore.; Pittsburgh; Raleigh-Durham; Charlotte; Indianapolis; Baltimore; San Diego; Nashville; and Hartford-New Haven.