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Kantar: $300 Million In Political Ad Dollars Went To Radio During 2022 Election.


A second ad-tracking firm says 2022 set a record for mid-term election spending, while also falling short of an all-time political ad record that was set during the presidential election cycle two years ago. Kantar Media says it tracked $8.2 billion in total political ad spending this year, of which $300 million, or a four percent share, went to radio.


The total ad spending figure may have been somewhat higher, Kantar/CMAG Vice President Steve Passwaiter says, because political operatives raised nearly $16 billion in political contributions this year. Since six of ten dollars raised are typically allocated to advertising, Passwaiter says that would point to total ad spending closer to $9.5 billion.


Passwaiter writes in Ad Age that broadcast television had the biggest total at $4.3 billion or a majority 52% of the total spend on political ads. It is up from $3 billion during the 2018 midterms.


Cable and satellite TV ranked second with political ads that added-up to $1.4 billion or $200 million more than during the 2018 race. Kantar numbers show streaming TV ads also reached the $1 billion mark for the first time, and Passwaiter thinks they are “well positioned to keep growing rapidly.”


The big tech giants Google and Facebook pocketed four-times what all of radio sold. Kantar/CMAG says the two digital companies had a combined $1.2 billion in political ad revenue this year.


The Kantar/CMAG figures are largely in line with what AdImpact reported. The political ad tracking firm said this week by its calculations 2022 was the most expensive midterm election cycle on record with an estimated $8.9 billion spent, easily topping the $3.9 billion invested during the 2018 midterms.


Like AdImpact, Passwaiter says Kantar/CMAG calculates California was the state with the highest total political ad investment this year powered by $305 million in online gambling ballot initiatives.


In most states it was the House and Senate races that ran up spending totals, with hotly-fought contests in Georgia, Pennsylvania and Arizona leading the list. Passwaiter says gubernatorial races also contributed millions, led by Georgia ($66 million), Nevada ($64 million), Texas ($64 million) and Florida ($62 million).


By the time the last votes were cast, Kantar/CMAG says Democrats spent nearly $300 million more than Republicans during the general election.

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