Short-Form DRTV Billings Reach a Year’s Worth of Hikes 

Media Billings

Kantar Media reports that second-quarter 2017 short-form DRTV media billings totaled $634,205,300 — a $121.6 million (23.3 percent) increase vs. 2Q 2016 results. The total also represents the fourth consecutive quarter of rising results for the short-form DRTV space — and, when added to first-quarter 2017 results, leaves the first half of 2017 up by $327.3 million compared to the first six months of 2016.

The leap was powered by a huge dollar-on-dollar increases in the “Drug and Toiletry,” “Household, Furniture, and Appliances,” “Automotive and Travel,” and “Home and Building” categories. The “Automotive and Travel” category was one of five that saw its spending more than double compared to second-quarter 2016. At the same time, the cable outlet saw yet another nine-figure increase in spending, while spending-per-campaign leaped — both inside and outside the top 40 campaigns.

Cable Controls Three-Quarters of Market

The cable TV marketplace enjoyed a third-consecutive quarter of massive increases, expanding $123.5 million (33.9 percent) compared to 2Q 2016. The increase earned cable six additional points of market share, as the other outlets — network TV (up $1.8 million), spot TV (off $5.5 million), Hispanic network TV (up $2.5 million), and syndication (down $736,000) — enjoyed mixed (but not earth-shattering) results.

The “Drug and Toiletry” category — spurred by new entrants to the top 40, such as Proactiv MD and Instaflex Advanced — added $32.6 million to its short-form leading total in second-quarter 2017. “Household, Furniture, and Appliances” rose $24 million (24.4 percent), while “Automotive and Travel” and “Home and Building” both topped $18 million in gains. Joining “Automotive and Travel” among categories that doubled (or better) their 2Q 2016 results: “Apparel,” “Computers, Software, and Home Office,” “Multiple Category Ad,” and “Publishers and Book Clubs.” 

Among the six categories to fade, “Crafts, Hobbies, Sporting Goods, and Toys” suffered a $5.1 million decline, while “Business” was off by $3.1 million.

The only other category to dip by more than $1 million was “Video Supplies and Equipment,” down $1.9 million (71.1 percent).

Spending Outside Top 40 Powers Up

Continuing another four-quarter-long trend, the number of short-form DRTV campaigns aired dropped 7.9 percent to 906. With spending up, this meant per-campaign spending jumped, based both on the total and outside the top 40: per-campaign spending hit $709,940, a 33.9-percent increase, while spending per campaign outside the top 40 — $283,904 — rose 46 percent. 

Twenty of the campaigns that appeared on 2Q 2016’s top 40 returned in second-quarter 2017. Nutrisystem and My Pillow shifted spots atop the chart

while WeatherTech.com jumped from No. 6 to No. 3, displacing Proactiv Solution. Colonial Penn remained at No. 5. The strongest newcomer was a campaign for magazine The Economist. Overall, top 40 spending was up $50.8 million (15 percent) but its share of total spend dipped 4.3 points to 60.5 percent.  


Kantar Media is the leading provider of strategic media and marketing information. Utilizing highly innovative tracking technologies, the company collects expenditure, occurrence and creative intelligence on millions of brands across 20 media. These figures are based on Kantar Media’s multimedia ad expenditure database across the following measured media: Network TV, Spot TV, Cable TV, Syndication and Hispanic Network TV. Figures do not contain public service announcement (PSA) data. For information about Kantar Media, call (212) 991-6000 or visit www.kantarmediana.com.