‘Issues’ Ads Are Nearly Two-Thirds Of Political Advertising.


Political advertising is not only looking to set records for the upcoming midterm elections, but much of the spending — 63% — looks to be “issue”-oriented spend, according to advertising placed through Viamedia, an independent ad sales management company used by local cable, OTT, streaming and video.


This is up vs. a 47% share in each of previous cycles in 2020 and 2018 political election periods, as reported by MediaPost.


Issue-oriented advertising includes spending by political action committees (PAC) for ballot initiatives, and referendums on behalf of candidates. After issue-oriented advertising, the next-biggest category is the U.S. Senate campaigns, with a 12% share. This is followed by gubernatorial campaigns at 11%.


Earlier this year Viamedia said it expected “triple- and even quadruple-digit” growth in spending in political “battleground” states. Viamedia data is derived from political advertising placed on more than 60 multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) in more than 70 markets.


In further evidence that political spending this year is likely to exceed any other midterm election year and perhaps even the rich 2020 presidential race, Viamedia says year-to-date total political ad revenue already is up 11% compared to the 2018 midterms and 2% higher than the 2020 presidential election year.


As earlier reported by Inside Radio, AdImpact forecasts $9.67 billion for 2022's total midterm election ad spend. That would make it the second consecutive election cycle to pass $9 billion and the most expensive midterm, not to mention political ad cycle, on record.


While historically Presidential elections have received the largest share of the political ad pie, accounting for nearly a third of total spend in both the 2016 and 2020 elections, the first 19 months the 2022 cycle has seen $700 million more than 2020, even without a Presidential election on the ticket.


Driving up ad spend and helping fill the Presidential void are 2022's 38 Gubernatorial elections, vs. just 14 in 2020. While Gubernatorial election ad spend fell from $1.1 billion in 2018 to $246 million in 2020, 2022 has already seen six times what was spent in 2020 and is projected to reach $2.43 billion for the cycle.

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