US Political Ad Spending Allocations, 2012 vs 2016 [CHART]

Chart: US Political Ad Spend Allocations - 2016 vs 2012

Political advertising reached $9.8 billion in the 2016 election year, marking a more than 4% increase from the 2012 election cycle ($9.4 billion) and representing a new record, according to Borrell Associates. But while the spending amount was in itself interesting, the channel breakdown may have been more noteworthy.

The biggest decline in political ad spend share was felt by TV, which dropped from more than two-thirds (67.4%) of spending in 2012 (broadcast and cable combined) to less than 60% (58.5%) this past year.

Broadcast TV was the biggest loser, plummeting from a majority (57.9%) of all spending in 2012 to 44.7% in 2016. While broadcast TV remained the single largest medium for political ad spending, its status clearly declined. By contrast, cable TV actually saw its share of spending increase from 9.5% in 2012 to 13.8% in 2016. As such, amid falling spend, TV allocations shifted away from broadcast and towards cable. This could have been with the goal of reaching younger voters, as MarketingCharts research indicates that cable attracts a slightly younger audience than broadcast. Read the rest at