More Bang for Your TV Buck
TM: Are certain formats more flexible on inventory and cost than others?
PK: With short-form DRTV, there’s definitely more 60-second inventory available than 120-second inventory. There’s generally a set amount of inventory available for infomercials, so this limits the available inventory during periods of higher demand during the fourth and first quarters.
National cable has traditionally been the primary TV medium for DRTV advertisers. However, short-form cable rates have increased as a result of more general advertisers moving into the medium. The growth of satellite TV has provided additional inventory for both short-form and long-form DRTV advertisers. In addition, we have seen more DRTV advertisers buying syndicated and network TV.
TM: What other DRTV options do firms have besides traditional spots?
PK: Many DRTV marketers are running their commercials on their Web sites and including an 800 number. This is a good way for someone with a limited budget to advertise.
TM: What role will the Internet play in shaping the future of DRTV?
PK: Currently, anywhere between 15 percent to 50 percent of the DRTV purchases are coming from the Internet. Half the people watching TV are simultaneously online, and more than half of the online audience now has access to high-speed Internet connections. This has fueled the growth of DRTV sales on the Internet. It also has allowed for streaming video of TV commercials on the Web. This has helped to reinforce the DRTV message online, which has translated into more online business for DRTV advertisers.
TM: What coming trends do you foresee in DRTV?
PK: I expect video on demand (VOD) to become a big growth area for DRTV marketers. This will allow consumers interested in finding out more about a particular product or service to view a longer format commercial, somewhere between a short- and long-form DRTV spot length. Comcast and others are aggressively moving forward with VOD programs.