These ad organizations have thinned the ranks of the independent media companies: KSL Media, R.J. Palmer Inc., DeWitt Media, Clifford A. Botway Inc. and CPM Media collectively are moving $2.4 billion-plus media billings into the ad organizations that bought them in the past year.
Real media billings among the top 30 media specialist companies reached $55.8 billion in the U.S., up a phenomenal 27.4%. Worldwide, this group hit $148.7 billion in billings, up 23.8%. There are few media specialist companies of any size beneath the top 30.
Agencies reported media billings of $60.6 billion, up 8.3%, in the U.S., including AOR accounts that passed through media-buying companies of $28.5 billion, and media they billed themselves of $32.1 billion.
Collectively, these media specialists slightly increased their percentage of business handled directly with the client to 49.6% compared with 49.3% in 1998. Basically, this means the unbundled media specialist companies, which are dominant on the list, are broadening their client base, albeit slightly, beyond the growing list of agency-of-record clients of their dedicated agencies.
Put another way, agencies remain the main source of client billings for media specialist companies. U.S. agencies in this report delivered $28.5 billion in billings in 1999, up 26.7%, to these media specialist, a little over half the total business of these companies.
The $28.5 billion figure was reported by the media specialists based on the amount of billings coming from agencies. (Agencies and a media company's own clients are the billings sources for media-buying shops). By extrapolation, agency media departments bought $32.1 billion in media themselves, and media specialists $55.8 billion for a total of $87.9 billion in media.
NETWORK PACES THE FIELD
Network TV took media honors for media companies at $15.6 billion, up 15.1%, and $14.6 billion for agencies, up 4.5%. It can be assumed that most agency network TV was handed to the media companies, as was buying for spot TV and network and spot cable, and to a lesser extent, radio. Magazines and newspapers remained the province of agencies.