Midterm 2018 Political Advertising To See Small Rise Over 2014

Next year’s big midterm political election will see a small increase from four years ago, partly due to lower digital media and cable TV advertising unit prices on political commercials.

Borrell Associates is forecasting an $8.5 billion political advertising market -- a 2.5% hike over 2014.

Broadcast TV will see $3.4 billion in ads -- commanding a 39.5% share -- with digital media at $1.9 billion for a 22% share; cable TV at $994 million (12%); radio, $564 million (6.6%); newspapers, $553 million (6.5%); telemarketing, $481 million (5.7%); and out-of-home, $317 million (3.7%)

With regard to digital media’s growth in 2018, Borrell says: “We expect nearly half of all digital political advertising in 2018 to be placed programmatically.”  

For 2017 -- an odd-numbered year that typically sees low levels of political advertising spend -- Borrell says total estimates will end up at $4.9 billion spent on candidates and overall political advertising activity.  “We’ve seen an upward spiral” in these types of political years, Borrell says.



Broadcast TV for political advertising this year will be $1.9 billion; cable TV, $607 million; digital media, $500 million; telemarketing, $452 million; newspapers, $435 million; radio, $400 million; out of home, $324 million; and direct mail, $260 million.

The biggest share of political activity this year came from super PACs, commanding $3.31 billion of the $4.97 billion spent -- 67% of all political advertising.

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