2020 Political Ad Spend Could Hit $10 Billion, Digital Share Expected To Double

A new political advertising forecast estimates that $10 billion will be spent in the U.S. for the upcoming 2020 election season -- with digital media expected to pull in a near 30% share, double its take for the 2016 presidential election-year.

Digital media is expected to total $2.9 billion, according to the recently launched Tru Optik Political Data Cloud service. Tru Optik is an audience research/data-management platform (DMP) for OTT (over the top)/CTV (connected TV) platforms.

Tru Optik estimates the biggest piece of 2020 political advertising revenue will remain with linear TV advertising -- estimated to be $4.4 billion. Another $1.9 billion will split across analog radio, traditional print, telemarketing, out-of-home and direct mail.

Tru Optik says OTT /CTV platforms will see $500 million to $720 million, with $70 million to $90 million for streaming audio. The Tru Optik  platform helps political advertisers use both OTT and streaming audio to target specific voter groups.



Political ad revenues for 2020 are expected to top the midterms of 2018 and the presidential election of 2016.

Borrell Associates said $9.8 billion was spent on the 2016 presidential election (up 4.6% from the 2012 presidential election) -- with $4.4 billion for  broadcast TV, $1.4 billion for digital; $1.35 billion for cable TV, $621 million for radio, and $301 million for direct mail.

Kantar Media/Campaign Media Analysis Group said that for the 2016 presidential election, local broadcast political ad revenue was $2.85 billion, with local cable at $850 million. Kantar says national TV buys that year totaled $122 million. That’s a total for linear TV of $3.8 billion.

Digital media -- mostly from Facebook and Google -- was $650 million in 2016 and $950 million for the midterm elections in 2018, Kantar says.

For the 2018 elections, Kantar said $5.25 billion was spent on advertising in local broadcast, local cable and digital -- 17% higher than in 2016.

1 comment about "2020 Political Ad Spend Could Hit $10 Billion, Digital Share Expected To Double".
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  1. Leo Kivijarv from PQ Media, June 19, 2019 at 12:49 p.m.

    PQ Media, which has published political media buying data since 2004, has a preliminary estimate for political media buying to reach $8.33 billion in 2020, as discussed last week on a Radio Advertising Bureau blog. 

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