Sizing up the DRTV Industry – Part 2

In part one of this two-part series, we discussed why traditional television research companies have long underestimated the size of the direct response television (DRTV) industry.  As more advertisers are tracking consumer response to make their media buys and creative executions accountable, the DRTV industry is experiencing unprecedented growth.  The need for the DR industry to define itself and substantiate this growth has never been greater.

AdSphere was created by DRMetrix to leverage automated content recognition (ACR) technologies to track all classifications and formats of DRTV advertising.  Pattern recognition and optical character recognition (OCR) technologies have allowed AdSphere to track over 20,000 DRTV commercials from a wide range of advertisers such as Nutrisystem, Keranique, Novo Nordisk, Treasure Island, Home Advisor, Lifelock, Zip Recruiter, and many others.  All of these advertisers are providing a way for consumers to ‘directly respond’ to their commercials.

AdSphere projections for the 2016 broadcast year are the result of monitoring 92 national cable networks.  AdSphere identified over 3,500 DR brands which have included some combination of 800, Web, Mobile App Response and/or SMS allowing consumers to directly respond.  In addition to detecting over 89,000 infomercial (28.5 minute) airings, AdSphere detected an astonishing 7.92 million spots with an average run time of 39.65 seconds up to a maximum of 5 minutes in duration.  This averages out to 6.49 minutes of DR spots running across the networks every hour, every day, 365 days a year.  AdSphere has calculated the valuation of this inventory at $6.4 billion dollars applying ‘average DR industry rates’ and weighting the value of DR spots running across two different types of national cable ad breaks.

This study proves that the DRTV industry is 3-4 times larger than what leading television research companies have reported.  DRMetrix presents the following facts for the industry to consider:

AdSphere™ 2016 short form media valuation by DR classification (across 92 national cable networks)

Short Form Product (call to order)  $315,559,760.19
Lead Generation (unique 800 or web/promo code tracking) $1,214,017,066.86
Brand/DR (Using vanity 800 numbers) $2,093,214,168.94
Brand/DR (straight web, SMS, and/or mobile app response) $2,813,172,645.74
Total  $6,435,963,641.73

*This number does not include broadcast, satellite, local cable DR expenditures or 28.5 infomercial valuations.

DRMetrix is excited to release these results to the industry so that everyone can understand how much the DRTV industry has grown.  The inaugural 2017 AdSphere Awards will recognize the accomplishments of the top direct response television advertisers and brands for the 2016 broadcast year.

Award recipients will be chosen across several industry classifications representing all facets of the industry.  AdSphere also segments DRTV campaigns across 20 major categories and 145 sub-categories. The complete list of “Best of Category” AdSphere Award winners for 2017 is online at

The awards presentation will take place at Response EXPO 2017, the DRTV industry’s yearly trade show, April 25-27, 2017 in San Diego, California.

In addition to the “Best of Category” awards, the following top seven advertisers and brands of 2016 will receive the coveted AdSphere Award:

2017 AdSphere Award Winners – Top Seven

Brands & Advertisers

1. 2016 – Advertiser & Brand of the Year
Classification -All Short-Form
Liberty Mutual
2. 2016 – Advertiser & Brand of the Year
Classification – Lead Generation
3. 2016 – Advertiser of the Year
Classification – Short-Form Products
4. 2016 – Advertiser & Brand of the Year
Classification – Long-Form
Beachbody – Cize
5.  2016 – Advertiser & Brand of the Year
Classification – Short-Form Retail Products
Pillow with a Heart – MyPillow
6. 2016 – Brand of the Year
Classification – Long-Form Retail Products
Total Gym
7. 2016 – Brand of the Year
Classification – Short-Form Products
AdsphereAd DR Industry

In order to scale a DRTV campaign, an advertiser’s creative and media execution needs to be optimized at the highest level.  Further, the campaign has to resonate with consumers in order to deliver an ROI to the advertiser sufficient to scale the size of the overall campaign.  Accordingly, the brands and advertisers will the highest overall projected schedule valuations have exemplified the art and science of DRTV advertising.  In creating the AdSphere Awards, DRMetrix is proud to bring the most inclusive awards program ever to the DRTV industry honoring advertisers across four industry classifications including short form products, lead generation, brand/DR, and long form.

To learn more about DRTV industry trends, please be sure to subscribe to the DRMetrix blog located at

Joseph Gray

About the Author

Joseph Gray is the CEO of DRMetrix and can be reached at:
Phone: (951) 234-3899

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