Transparency = DRTV growth!

With the growth of TV Everywhere, and new ad supported video mediums, it’s an exciting time with huge opportunities for industry growth.

It’s time to open a dialog with media providers,  retail industry leaders, and the DRTV industry about the benefits of collaboration and transparency to the betterment of all parties.

The term “transparency” can mean a lot of things.  As proponents of transparency, we find ourselves educating the DRTV, Media, and Retail industries about the benefits of third party commercial monitoring and airings verification.   At DRMetrix, we are passionate about this subject and this is where we have spent our time and investment in recent years.  We have a vision which is growth oriented and aligns with the best interests of our industry.   We believe the DRTV industry’s brightest days are ahead and we are investing in that future today.


One of the byproducts of commercial monitoring is competitive media research.   In business, you often attract new clients based on the success of existing clients.  Like no other, DRTV uniquely measures and focuses on media that performs and this is why competitive media research is a significant driver of qualified DRTV business to participating media companies.

In addition to unrated cable networks, our industry is embracing networks on the digital broadcast tier, video over the top, mobile video, etc.  Greater transparency in some of these mediums would help accelerate adoption.  Many of these new mediums are literally “off the radar” of our industry but may nevertheless be fertile ground.   Ultimately, media companies will have to make a decision of whether or not to collaborate with third party monitoring companies who can provide the industry with the type of independent business intelligence that drives growth for all stakeholders.


The product/retail side of the DRTV industry may have taken a back seat in recent years but it’s a cyclical cycle tied to changes in media, industry innovation and disruption.  When cable television was first introduced, DRTV product advertisers were the early adopters long before the larger cable networks became rated.   The retail industry desires measurement and accountability and ultimately the marketers want credit for media dollars spent regardless of whether they are buying inventory in rated/unrated media, buying online or offline video ad placements.

The industry would benefit if research companies were willing to step up and help quantify the value of all this media.  Bringing things into a unified view that would make it easy for DRTV product marketers to convey the level of their ad expenditures to the retail industry.  Airings verification is the key to providing credible retail rankings for all parties concerned and have become a very influential metric for U.S. Retailers. Media that embraces transparency and collaborates with monitoring company’s, such as DRMetrix, will find themselves able to contribute to a marketer’s “spend metrics/rankings”.  In such a competitive landscape, marketers have a real incentive to shift ad dollars to monitored media so this is another tangible benefit to media companies who embrace transparency.


DRTV agencies appreciate the work flow automation benefits provided by airings verification.  However, on the national cable network tier, these benefits have been limited to a universe of 120 rated networks by traditional monitoring companies.  Can we count on these same companies to monitor online/offline networks that are unrated and purchased more exclusively by DRTV advertisers?  What about transparency in media billing? Mistakes are made in both post logs and affidavits which result in advertisers sometimes paying for ads that didn’t run.  DRMetrix is developing the technology to solve this problem.  We are able to import agency post logs and immediately identify airings that did not really clear.  If such airings appear on media affidavits, we can provide streaming video of the network ad breaks as proof that the ads in question did not run.  This is yet another example of the benefits of transparency and why we believe the DRTV industry will ultimately favor doing business with monitored networks.


The argument against transparency loses in the face of the numerous benefits to the larger industry.  It exists in mature industries and time and time again it has proven itself a catalyst to growth.  Third party monitoring companies can help media companies to gain greater visibility to both the DRTV and Retail industries.  Workflow automation, auditing of airing/billing, and competitive media research all help to drive market adoption and are tangible benefits.   What a wonderful vision for the future of our industry if media companies will agree to participate and embrace transparency.

New AdSphere™ features to debut at ERA/D2C Show

AdSphere™, from DRMetrix, is a next generation competitive media research system developed for the DRTV industry.  It debuted recently, in mid-June of this year, offering business intelligence including:

  • Compare spend levels of different DRTV brands and advertisers
  • Discover best performing brands for any advertiser
  • Determine best performing creatives for any brand
  • Gauge the performance of over 14,000 creatives
  • Study DRTV execution across 122 industry categories
  • Identify top performing networks and ROS dayparts for any brand/creative
  • Identify new advertisers, brands, and creatives

DRMetrix is debuting a new update for AdSphere™ at the ERA/D2C Show which will add the following features:

  • Same day & historical airings available for any DRTV brand or creative
  • Summary and airing detail exports
  • Video playback of any airing for 10 days & new airing level thumbnail feature
  • New filters including English/Spanish, lifetime rankings, and more.
  • All network trend view & new media analysis tools
  • Advertiser and brand summary reports with creative video links
  • Updates to user interface

The new features are planned for release at the end of September.  Most notable is the ability to export same day airings, as well as historical airings, for any DRTV creative.  Given the DRTV industry’s frequent use of different phone numbers, promotion codes, and other techniques to make TV media more accountable, AdSphere was engineered to track this data at the airing level.  For example, a video thumbnail is taken at a specific point in each commercial airing such as the “call to action” screen.  This allows AdSphere™ users to click on any current or historical airing and view a video thumbnail picture to confirm what phone number, promotion code, etc., was seen at the original time of airing.  Additionally, for up to 10 days, AdSphere™ users will be able to click and watch a video  of the actual airing for any traditional DRTV creative (including 28.5 minute infomercials).

DRMetrix will be exhibiting this week at booth 716 just inside the Lafite Ballroom near the entrance/exit.




Who to choose for 2016 DRMA Marketer of the year?

It’s that time of year!  Voting is open starting today through Friday, August 26th for the 2016 DRMA marketer of the year.  For your consideration, here are some thoughts and insights gleamed from DRMetrix’s new AdSphere­™ Research System for the five DRMA nominees.

Differences in DRTV media execution

Three of this year’s nominees, Adore Me, Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority, and Vista Print are executing their DRTV media buys on a non-traditional Brand/DR basis while AIG and Nutrisystem are executing their media on a traditional DR basis.  While both traditional and non-traditional DRTV approaches incorporate a call to action, there is significant difference in how consumer response is measured and how media buys are optimized.  In order to understand traditional DR metrics such as network cost per call, cost per sale, ROI, etc., one needs to track consumer response back to each network.  On the other hand, use of a vanity call to action, which is typical in the case of Brand/DR campaigns, suggests the advertiser is managing their buy based on “cost per impression” data from Nielsen.

Differences in Spend Levels

There are also significant differences in what each Nominee has spent on National Cable inventory. AdSphere™ tracks of all of the airings for every DRTV brand running across 92 national cable networks.  This has resulted in over 11.6 million DRTV spots detected since DRMetrix deployed it’s monitoring platform in December of 2014.  Each airing in analyzed taking into consideration the average price of DR media by network and ROS daypart.  Additionally, airings running in national ad breaks are segmented from those running in less expensive local “cue tone” ad breaks.  AdSphere™ utilizes a comparative spend index  where the brand with the highest level of spend is given a score of “100” and all other brands are scored in comparison.

Although they are not a nominee this year, the top DRTV short form brand for year to date 2016 is Liberty Mutual earning a short form spend index score of “100”.

Our first nominee, by order of projected media spend, is Nutrisystem with a short form spend index of “46.93”.  (DRMetrix estimates that Nutrisystem spent 46.93% of what Liberty Mutual spent for the broadcast period 12/28/15 – 8/14/16.)  It’s also worth noting that Nutrisystem is the only nominee that also advertises via 28.5 minute long form infomercials earning a long form spend index ranking of “10.47” compared to the top infomercial brand year to date which is Cize from Beachbody.

AdSphere™ Expenditure Data

Here’s how the short form spend index breaks down for each of our five nominees.

  1. Nutrisystem – 46.93
  2. Vista Print – 28.33
  3. Adore Me – 6.05
  4. Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority – 1.08
  5. AIG – 1.07

Those of you with access to AdSphere™, please login and run a 2016 YTD this week to see more details such as number of airings detected for each of these brands, their actual media schedules, and you can watch all of their creatives as well!

You are now free to explore the DNA of Direct Response

If you don’t have access to AdSphere™ please feel free to take advantage of DRMetrix’s free week trial for first time users.  You can also checkout the AdSphere™ Biannual 2016 industry report “2016 Mid-Year” which debuted on last month featuring rankings for the top traditional DRTV product campaigns and advertisers.  The new Biannual report was created in partnership with SciMark’s “True Top 50” industry report which was released on July 24, 2016.

DRMetrix & SciMark collaborate on new Bi-Annual DRTV Industry Report


DRMetrix and SciMark have come together to collaborate on a new Biannual DRTV Industry Report.  Data from DRMetrix’s new AdSphere™ system will be used to determine the top DRTV brands and advertisers based on detected spot and infomercial airings across 92 national cable networks.

Jordan Pine will be presenting his analysis of the AdSphere™ data on The SciMark Report as well as announcing the True Top 50True Top Marketer, and True Top Producer, along with other awards for the period in question.

Click here to read The SciMark Report’s 2016 (mid-year) analysis now!



DRMetrix releases AdSphere™ Statistics

DRMetrix recently reached a new benchmark having detected over 10 million DRTV airings in just 18 months.  The company began monitoring national cable networks in December of 2014 with plans to build a world class competitive media research system for the DRTV industry.  With the beta rollout of AdSphere™ this month, DRMetrix is now making this incredible data set available to the industry.

In May alone, DRMetrix detected over 737,000 DRTV airings, 8300 infomercial airings, 1063 new creatives, 226 new Brands, and 122 new advertisers adding to its lifetime totals of 13,000 unique DRTV creatives, 4,000 Brands, and 2,200 advertisers.

DRMetrix plans to update the statistics monthly on its website located at and invites the industry to visit and watch a short video to learn more about AdSphere™.



DRMetrix introduces AdSphere™

For four years, DRMetrix has been building the foundation from which to bring its most ambitious product to market.  As a competitive media research system, AdSphere™ leverages game changing technology redefining this category of product for the DRTV industry.  AdSphere will be made available on limited beta release starting next week.

DRMetrix deployed a state of the art ACR monitoring system at the end of 2014 and began building the database which today powers AdSphere™.  Monitoring all DRTV spots and infomercials on leading cable networks, to date over 13,000 unique DRTV creatives have been identified and tracked across over 10 million airings.  Over 4,000 DRTV brands from over 2,200 advertisers have been identified and segmented across 122 industry categories.  As a DRTV business intelligence tool,  AdSphere™ unlocks the power of this incredible database.  DRMetrix has big plans in store for AdSphere™ and is rapidly building out the system and its capabilities.

As a beta release, we know everyone is curious how far along AdSphere™ really is and what features are available today.  DRMetrix has released a short video demonstrating the current functionality of AdSphere™ which is available by clicking here.

Please post any questions or comments.  We’d love to hear from you!



DRMetrix introduces new Retail Reporting

DRMetrix will begin distributing a new version of its weekly spend index™ retail ranking report for the AS SEEN ON TV industry to retailers and DRTV marketers beginning 4/18/16.  Click on the links below for a sneak preview!

DRMetrix monitors national cable networks, identifies and tracks airings for all DRTV short and long form creative using state of the art ACR and optical character recognition technologies.  The end result is the industry’s most accurate retail reporting for the DRTV industry.  DRMetrix is now detecting over 700,000 unique airings a month and has identified nearly 10,000 unique DRTV creatives across over 2,200 DRTV advertisers.

If you are a retailer, or DRTV marketer involved in the selling of AS SEEN ON TV products, contact DRMetrix for a free weekly subscription!  You can also sign up for a complimentary subscription by visiting booth 619 at the DRMA Show in San Diego week of April 25th, 2016.



AVS™ – A Paradigm Shift for the DRTV Industry

There is one undeniable thing about technology – it’s changing everything.  You may not realize it yet but Automated Content Recognition (ACR) technology is the next big  paradigm shift for the DRTV industry.  It is ushering forth a new era of transparency and AVS™ from DRMetrix is leading the way.

The ACR technology behind AVS™ tracks short and long form DRTV ads running on national cable networks.  In a relatively short amount of time, the technology has identified and cataloged 10,000 unique DRTV ads that have collectively aired over 8 million times.  Each unique creative has been assigned to one of 122 industry categories.  Each ad is also associated with one of nearly 2000 DRTV advertisers identified in the AVS™ database.

The impact of AVS™ is just beginning to be felt as early adopters begin to experiment with DRMetrix’s new groundbreaking service.  One such adopter wanted to grow their lead generation business and used AVS™ to determine the networks and ROS dayparts that were performing best for different lead generation categories.  This same customer, who has since become an ardent fan of AVS™ for its competitive media research value, only recently came to the realization that they could also use AVS™ to track their own airings.  When the customer had their “ah ha!” moment they were a little embarrassed at overlooking this significant capability of AVS™.  Now, they are planning to use AVS™ to not only track competitive airings but also their own airings.  With no need to watermark or encode your ads, AVS™ happens to be the simplest and most cost effective airings verification solution on the market.

Those using AVS™ for tracking their own airings, marvel when mere minutes after ads clear they see each airing appear in the online AVS™ system.  Users are also able to click and play back the commercial just as it aired live.  What a convenience should you ever need to confirm whether or not the correct 800 creative ran!  The AVS™ video clip includes pre and post roll so you can see a snippet of what ran before and after each ad placement.  AVS™ also takes a snapshot of the call to action frame and saves it as a thumbnail as a quick and easy way to audit your call to action.

U.S. Retailers are starting to pay close attention to DRMetrix’s new technology which delivers far more accurate weekly rankings of the top AS SEEN ON TV brands based on national cable spend.  DRMetrix has been sharing its innovative rankings with both retailers and select DRTV marketers on a complimentary basis.  In the spirit of transparency, DRMetrix  has also invited DRTV marketers to tour AVS™ and audit for themselves the creatives and airings that AVS™ has detected for their brands.  Haven’t had a chance to tour AVS™ yet?  Be sure and visit DRMetrix at booth #619 at the DRMA Convention later this month (week of April 25th) in San Diego.