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Radio Expected To Pull In $428 Million In BIA Political Forecast.


As the 2022 mid-term election cycle heads into the home stretch, BIA is out with an updated forecast of how this year’s record-setting political ad spend will be divvied up. Nationally, BIA forecasts over-the-air (OTA) television will reach $3.8 billion by the end of the 2022 cycle. But that hefty number could rise before the polls close on Nov. 8. “There is still significant headroom for growth in the final months leading up to the November elections,” the firm notes.


The second largest political ad platform is digital media, which will get about half of what OTA TV hauls in, or nearly $2 billion in spending. Third place goes to cable TV with over $1 billion in expected spending.


Over-the-air radio is forecast to pull in $428.4 million, to rank fifth, behind direct mail at $733.2 million. BIA also forecasts $512.0 million will go to “other” advertising outlets.


“As expected, political ad spend this year has been extremely high, and there’s no sign of it slowing down in the final two months,” the firm said in an update posted to its Local Media Watch blog.


Meanwhile, BIA says it is working with political media data provider AdImpact to examine ad spend “from many different angles to provide deeper knowledge of the local political ad market.” The alliance will allow AdImpact to provide granular political spending at the monthly level for each of the 210 local television markets. Singling out the Erie market in the battleground state of Pennsylvania, for example, shows that through July 2022, over the air TV and cable almost reached a combined $4 million in political ad spend in the mid-term, election cycle.


According to AdImpact, total midterm election ad spend will reach $9.67 billion this year which 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. AdImpact’s forecast for radio is markedly more conservative than BIA’s. AdImpact expects $270 million for broadcast radio, or about 2.77% of the ballooning political ad pie.

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