Political advertising has long been dominated television, but the landscape is shifting as digital media gains prominence. According to BIA Advisory Services, political ad spending on digital platforms is set to increase 28% between 2020 and 2024, reaching a total of $2.64 billion.
The majority of digital ad dollars will be allocated to local search (45.7%) and local video (34.1%), making up a significant portion of the projected $570 million growth in digital ad spending. Digital display ads will top $1.4 billion, with 58% of this growth going to ads displayed on computer screens. While digital television formats will also see growth, it will be at a slower pace compared to other digital mediums.
Digital radio, on the other hand, remains less utilized politicians who typically prefer on-air ads for get-out-the-vote efforts. Nevertheless, BIA forecasts that local market ad spending on digital radio ads will increase 38% during the 2024 election cycle, reaching $76.8 million. This category includes streaming audio and banner ads sold local radio stations, as well as ads retained local stations after reselling other online platforms.
BIA predicts that political campaigns will target digital audiences through various ad inventory types, heavily relying on data-driven programmatic platforms to reach specific audience segments likely to register and vote. As politicians gear up for the upcoming presidential race, this year’s political contests are already driving higher spending, with local political ad spend projected to be $534 million, more than double the amount spent in the pre-presidential election year of 2019.
Overall, the influence of digital media in political advertising is steadily increasing, challenging the long-standing dominance of television. The shift towards digital platforms provides new opportunities for media sellers to include digital ad inventory in their proposals to agencies and campaigns.
– BIA Advisory Services