Digital Forecast To Cut Into TV's Political Ad Bonanza

Broadcast political TV advertising will again grow for the 2015-2016 political season, which includes the presidential race. But in years to come, digital platforms will eat into its political advertising share.

Borrell Associates estimates that broadcast TV advertising will grow to $8.5 billion for the period July 2015 to November 2016 -- 52% of all political advertising dollars.

Just for 2016 alone, broadcast will see $6 billion in political advertising, up from around the $5.75 billion level in 2012 -- the last presidential election year.

But next year and the following years, Borrell expects broadcast TV to be severely impacted, dropping to $2 billion in 2017 and then to just under $4 billion in 2018 -- down from just under $5 billion level in a comparable year, 2014.

By the next presidential election in 2020, broadcast is forecast to only hit $5 billion. In that year, Borrell estimates digital platforms will pull in around $3.5 billion.

Borrell says broadcast “will have shed almost 14 share points, while spending is forecast to decrease by 19%. Digital is forecast to absorb that share point loss and more, gaining 16.5 share points during the coming cycle. By 2020, digital political ad spending will have risen to within 30% of broadcast TV levels.”



Borrell says between July 2015 and November 2016, all political advertising is estimated to be $16.5 billion. This includes all national and local political activity. By the end of this year, Borrell says $5.1 billion will be spent overall on political advertising; and $11.4 billion in 2016.

After broadcast TV, cable TV will get to $1.5 billion -- a 9% share of all political media between July 2015 and November 2016; newspapers will be next at $1.4 billion, a 8.2% share.

Borrell says during the period digital political advertising will top the $1 billion mark -- $1.09 billion, representing 6.6% of all political media dollars. Other media: radio, $1.2 billion, 7.2% share; telemarketing $1.07 billion, 6.5% share; and out of home, $831 million, 5.1% share.

National political contests -- including that of the presidential race next year -- will amount to about half of the $16.5 billion to be spent between July 2015 and November 2016. Broadcast TV will account for $5.5 billion with cable TV pulling in $737 million.

Spending on digital platforms will go from $1.08 billion next year to $480 million in 2017; to $1.99 billion in 2018; $725 million in 2019. Then in 2020, Borrell expects digital political advertising to sharply rise to $3.3 billion.

1 comment about "Digital Forecast To Cut Into TV's Political Ad Bonanza".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, August 19, 2015 at 9:45 a.m.

    I suspect that the amount spent on political advertising and, especially, presidential races, is a very difficult thing to predict. It depends on the political climate at the time, who's running, the mood of the nation, the economy, whether we are at war, etc. That said, digital media is ideal for finely tuned political campaigns, if the media "experts" advising the politicians have the savvy to do it right---targeting-wise. Social media are a very large part of the game----maybe, the Republicans will, at last, grasp that. If so, digital ad spending for election campaigns should rise considerably.

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