With presidential campaigns about to rev into high gear, spending on political advertising is going to accelerate rapidly, a new study predicts. The “2015-2016 Political Advertising Outlook” reveals that politics-driven advertising will reach a record $11.4 billion in 2016, 20% more than the last comparable presidential election year of 2012. Factor in 2015 spending, and the tally of ad dollars leaps to a record $16.5 billion, according to the report compiled by research firm Borrell Associates.
Notably, political campaigners and their supporters will invest more than $1 billion in digital advertising for the first time. While digital will account for 9.5% of total political ad spending, politicians are not buying into the medium as rapidly as others. “Political advertising still hasn’t caught up with other categories that earmark 30%-50% for digitals,” Borrell states.
For the 2015-16 election period, politicians and their backers are forecast to spend $8.5 billion on broadcast television spots, the most of any single category. Of that, $5.5 billion will come from national contests with the remainder coming from state and local races.
Overall, presidential candidates will spend $120.8 million on average to fuel their campaigns with advertising. Those vying for Senate seats will spend $7.3 million each, while aspiring congressman will invest $1.6 million on average.
According to Borrell, advertisers will spend the most money in large states such as California ($1.2 billion) and Texas ($896 million).