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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Infomercial'

Infomercial Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    infomercial n : a television commercial presented in the form of a short documentary [syn: informercial]
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Infomercial'

Infomercials are long-format television commercials, typically five minutes or longer. Infomercials are also known as paid programming (or teleshopping in Europe). This phenomenon started in the United States where infomercials were typically shown overnight (usually 2:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m.)--outside of peak hours. Some television stations chose to air infomercials as an alternative to the former practice of sign-off. By 2009, most US infomercial spending is during early morning, daytime, and evening hours. Stations in most countries around the world have instituted similar media structures. According to, over $150 billion of consumer products in the U.S. are sold through infomercials.

The term "infomercial" is sometimes misapplied and used to refer to direct response television advertisements (DRTV) of 60 to 120 seconds. However, the term describes program length advertisements which, in the US, are typically 28 minutes and 30 seconds (see above references). In the US, DRTV advertisements of 30 seconds to 2 minutes are typically called "short form" or "DRTV spots" and are not included in the advertising industry's use of the term "infomercial". Note that in the US market, a small amount of media can be purchased for 5 minute advertisements, although this time is quite limited. Outside of the US market, lengths depend on the lengths allowed by television stations and government regulators.

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