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BIA: Political Spending On Digital Ads To Jump 28% In 2024 Campaign Cycle.


Political ad spending continues to climb each cycle, but where those dollars go is also in transition as television’s lock on campaign cash continues to loosen. One of the beneficiaries has been digital media, including online radio. Overall, BIA Advisory Services forecasts political advertising on digital will jump 28% between 2020 and 2024, with total spend climbing to $2.64 billion.


“Political digital ad spending in 2024 will increase by one-third over prior years,” BIA says in a blog post. “Media sellers can address this demand by including this type of ad inventory in their proposals to agencies and campaigns.”


In terms of digital ad inventory types, BIA says most 2024 political ad dollars in digital will be allocated to local search (45.7%) and local video (34.1%). As a result, BIA says politicians’ digital display ad spending will top $1.4 billion, with 58% of the projected $570 million growth in digital ad spending going to ads that turn up on computer screens. Digital television formats will also grow, but at a much smaller pace.


Digital radio remains a much less-used format for most politicians, who typically favor on-air ads for get-out-the vote efforts. Even so, BIA forecasts that local market ad spending on digital radio ads will increase 38% during the 2024 election cycle compared to four years ago to $76.8 million. The digital radio bucket includes streaming audio and banner ads sold by local radio stations and pureplay streamers like Spotify. It also includes the share retained by local radio stations after reselling other online platforms such as Google AdWords.


“National, state, and local candidate and issue campaigns will be targeting digital audiences across different types of ad inventory,” BIA says. “Buying will lean heavily toward data-driven programmatic ad platforms to reach specific audience segments likely to register and vote.”


Ahead of the presidential race, this year’s political contests are driving plenty of spending in what is typically an off year on the political calendar. BIA is projecting that local political ad spend will be $534 million this year. That is more than double the $254 million spent in the pre-presidential election year of 2019. Over the air radio is expected to get 5.4% of the spend, versus 22.8% for digital advertising.

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