Digital Video to be Media Star in 2020 Campaign Ad Spending

BY Kathy Crosett
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Earlier this summer, we reported on Brian Wieser’s projections for the political ad spending sector. Wieser anticipates a $10 billion spending level, and other research shops have provided significant details on where the money will go, especially digital video. Here are the latest figures and how they break out across media formats.

During the past few election cycles, digital formats have secured a growing percentage of political ad money. This election cycle will be no different. Kantar Media expects to see a total of $3.0 billion in ad spending for the upcoming presidential bid. Another $8.7 billion in spending will be done by federal candidates. And the non-​federal spending will come in at around $1.3 billion. Total spending will likely break out by format as follows:

  • Broadcast TV $3.2 billion
  • Cable TV $1.2 billion
  • Digital $1.2 billion
  • Radio $0.4 billion

Digital formats will nab about 20% of the total ad spending. Kantar Media analysts point out that in the last national election, candidates spent varying budget percentages on digital. The Trump campaign went big with digital: 40% of its total. On the other hand, Hillary Clinton spent 25% of her budget on digital formats.

Digital Video

Campaign managers believe that digital video is a key way to reach out to voters. Research from Centro shows that over 50% of digital ad spending in 2018 at the state and local election level went to video. The total amount spent on digital video for that cycle was $660 million. In the 2020 campaign cycle, campaign media buyers are likely to pay for at least $1.6 billion in digital video placement.

If you’re selling in the political vertical, talk with your contacts about the right media mix. For those who aren’t in the know, remind them of the challenges of buying spots as the election date draws closer. And share intriguing data with them about audience profiles. You’ll find what you need at AudienceScan, produced by AdMall from SalesFuel.