Facebook, Google, and Twitter created and implemented policies this past year to make political ad buys transparent, so a group at New York University set out to use the data to analyze online political advertising in the U.S. between September 9, 2018 and September 22, 2018 to determine which platform generates the most impressions and buys.
All three platforms generated billions of impressions based on more than $490 million that was spent. Total ads on Facebook amounted to 860,000 and between 5.1 billion and 14.5 billion impressions.
Google’s total ad count was 23,000, with between 677 million and 5.8 billion impressions. Twitter’s ad count reached 1151, with 78 million impressions.
Among the three platforms, President Trump came in as the largest advertiser on Facebook by total number of ads. The NYU study managed to find 9,880 ads linked to his official Facebook page.
Facebook has more advertisers and ads, but Google served more impressions and took in more ad dollars, according to the compiled data. The analysis determined there were more “micro-targeted” ads on Facebook’s platform and larger ads on Google’s platform.
Separately, Borrell Associates did an interesting analysis that determined on what media money is spent. Search will take $353 billion -- up 20% since 2014 -- according to Borrell Associates’ data. Display will take the greatest share -- about $706 billion -- while video will take $373 billion, and email about $362 billion.
The use of video has grown from slightly over $5 million in 2014 to nearly $400 million this year, as a result of inexpensive video equipment and the growing consumer popularity of video venues.
Digital spending is projected to be evenly split between national and local levels, about 50.9% national, and 49.6% local.
Overall, online advertising for political ads rose 2420.1% since 2014, and is forecast to hit about $1.8 billion this year, according to Borrell Associates.
Broadcast TV still takes the biggest share at 38.9%, and is forecast to reach $3.5 billion -- but the media continues to lose ground, down 75.5.%
Borrell’s new forecast puts the total amount spent on political ads across digital and traditional media at $8.9 billion -- or 8% more than was spent during the last midterms in 2014. In addition, more money is being spent locally.
The report breaks down the spending by U.S. Senate, U.S. House, State Governor, Senate, House, Local, School Boards and more.