While 2020 election dollars are a distant memory for most broadcasters, they continue to gush from a firehose in Georgia, the state that will decide which political party controls the U.S. Senate. With only two weeks to go until in-person voting begins in a pair of hotly contested runoff elections, the amount spent on radio is approaching $40 million in the Peach State, according to data provided to Inside Radio by Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group.
By comparison, around $275 million was spent in total across all of radio during the general election cycle, according to Kantar estimates.
“This is a higher share than what we saw during the general election cycle,” says Steve Passwaiter, VP/GM at CMAG. “Radio is doing rather well in these Georgia contests.”
It’s unclear to what degree the inability of political advertisers to use either Google or Facebook is helping radio rack up a larger piece of the pie in Georgia.
Radio is getting a 7.6% share of a total $482 million in committed spending overall in runoff election ad dollars tracked by Kantar in Georgia.
Atlanta is attracting the vast majority of those radio dollars with Cox Media Group news/talk powerhouse WSB-AM/WSBB-FM (770, 95.5) the leading radio station in ad spend so far. CMG R&B sister “Kiss 104.1” WALR-FM is a distant second place. “I’ve noticed a lot of activity geared to ethnic radio properties both for African American and Hispanic audiences,” Passwaiter says.
Per Kantar, Atlanta is getting about 60% of the Georgia runoff radio volume to date.
Democrats are sending more on radio than Republicans in the Jan. 5 vote, in which two Republican incumbents aim to hang on to their U.S. Senate seats. In one race, Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler faces Democrat opponent Raphael Warnock. In the other, U.S. Sen. David Perdue, the Republican incumbent first elected in 2014, faces Democrat Jon Ossoff.