Direct Marketing Article
The Pastry Economics of Television
Why There Should Be Room for 210 Spot Slices on Every Agency's Diet Plan
By Don Seaman
Everywhere you look these days you see someone who is trying to make their
money work harder for them. People are willing to cut more corners, take the
longer road, settle for silver as long as it doesn't cost as much as going
But what if you'd get more for your money while still keeping all your
corners, taking the direct route, and getting the gold at silver prices?
Well, in essence, that's what you get for your money by investing in Spot TV
rather than Network Scatter, according to the latest SQAD data.
The usual feeling among those who are unfamiliar with Spot is "why should I
use Spot TV when I can buy Network for the same cost as the top 20 markets
and get the other 190 for free?"
There's something that you should know about that argument. It's poppycock.
Looking at A25-54 CPMs in four standard dayparts - Early Morning, Early
News, Late Night and Prime - you're not getting anything for free that way.
In fact, you're usually paying more. For example, if you bought Network
Scatter in Late Night, it would cost you 83% more that it would to just buy
the top 20 markets. Early Morning and Early News would get you significant
discounts as well.
Even in Prime, where Network Scatter often has an advantage, the playing
field is absolutely level on a "total footprint" basis of 210 markets.
Moreover, if you buy the top 100 markets, the Spot Prime CPM is actually
lower than Network Scatter.
If you need an additional spoonful of sugar to help this medicine go down,
why don't we look at this on a TSA level? (This accounts for all the
station's viewing, including the part of the viewing signal that spills
outside the home DMA.) In this case, things go from the ridiculous to the
On a TSA CPM basis, the 210 Market Early Morning Spot TV cost would be 42%
below Network Scatter, 31% below in Early News, 60% below in Late Night, and
even 25% below Network Scatter in Prime.
The cherry on top would be that the Spot market is healthy - it's showing
double-digit year-over-year CPM growth. So it's a hot item that you're
getting at a better cost than the convenience store offering of Network
Do you still want to tell your client that you don't want to consider Spot?
Now, before you dismiss all of this as partisan lobbying, consider the
independent facts. SQAD costs are based upon actual marketplace costs. They
are what they are, and we're just making sure that they're noticed. Take a
look for yourself and see: http://www.tvb.org/trends/4718/161244
You might almost think of it as similar to when the TV manufacturers
introduced HD. They knew what they had would be revolutionary, that they'd
change people's perceptions once they saw it. Now it's hard to imagine it
not being a standard. Well, these SQAD reports should do the same thing.
Once you see it, the clarity is hard to ignore.
That's right; Spot TV might just be the oldest media revolution around.
The advertising time purchased from individual stations. There are two major
types: local and national. Local spots are purchased in one market and aimed
only at the audience in that particular market. National spots are bought by
national advertisers in several markets.
SQAD® is recognized as the industry standard media cost-per-thousand /
cost-per-rating point forecasting source for National and Spot TV. SQAD
receives actual buys from agencies and media buying companies for spot TV
and radio as well as Hispanic Spot TV, and derives projected costs based
upon real market cost data. It provides this reliable information to
advertising agencies, buying services, advertisers, television and radio
stations, cable operators, program syndicators and Internet publishers.