Direct Response Television Data Update

Direct Response Television Data Update

As a follow on to a Brief released in early March, more of the data has become available and may be of interest to those who captured the first portion. In February the Electronic Retailing Association (ERA) unveiled initial results of a consumer tracking study designed to monitor and update direct response television (DRTV) viewership trends as well as consumer attitudes and preferences about electronic retailing. Elissa Matulis Myers, ERA CEO, said "much of the news is great and reflects the growing importance of direct response TV in the marketing mix."

The results shed definitive light on the ways that consumers interact with DRTV including infomercials (30-minute long form paid television programming), direct response television advertisements i.e. "spots" (short form 30-second to two minute TV ads), and live shopping via home television shopping networks such as QVC, HSN, Shop at Home, and ShopNBC.

Electronic Retail Association Tracking Study Highlights

- Out of the total adult population of Americans, 63% watch some form of DRTV advertising, translating to a customer base of 136.2 million viewers. While this is strong participation, overall DRTV viewership has declined 11 percentage points since a previous 1996 study.

- While DRTV viewers continue to skew female, they do not hold as dominant a position as previously believed.

Total ViewersTotal Non-ViewersTotal Buyers
Primary GenderFemale 53.2%Male 55.4%Female 51.7%
Mean Age41.245.245.9
Primary EthnicityCaucasian 75.8%Caucasian 76.4%Caucasian 79.3%
Primary EmployFull-time 52.7%Not Emp. 47.3%Full-time 58.6%
Status Marital StatusMarried 49.3%Married 52.8%Married 60.3%
Children PresentYes 40.1%Yes 38.5%Yes 43.1%
ResidenceSuburban 31.7%Small Town 31.5%Suburban 31.0%
Mean Household Income$56,000$49,000$55,000

- On average DRTV viewers are four years younger than Americans who don't watch DRTV. Among the youngest viewer group (ages 16 - 24) time spent watching infomercials has increased from a year ago. This is the highly desirable, 70 million strong population that traditional advertisers spend billions trying to attract.

- Infomercial buyers are most likely to purchase because they "believe the product will help them" while live shopping buyers were motivated by "finding the best price" and direct response spot buyers because they "always wanted the product." "Marketers should use these findings to influence channel and product placement options," noted session moderator, Bill Danner.

- More than one third of (DRTV) viewers indicate that they have purchased a product that they were first exposed to via DRTV. This incidence was highest among infomercial viewers (39%), followed by live shopping (34%) followed by 60-second to two-minute TV spots (32%).

Find out more here.

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