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March 31, 2016

2016 U.S. Political Ad Spending Update


It's going to be a richer year for political advertising than we initially thought. We're upping our estimates 3.1%, to $1.7 billion. The biggest beneficiaries of this additional $357 million in spending will be digital, radio, and cable -- and local media in general. With broadcast TV inventory clogged, campaigns and PACs have been turning to available inventory such as cable and radio spots and digital banner ads. Also, expect the national vitriol to cause a trickle-down effect at the state and local level. Candidates and PACs are likely to rush to the airwaves to caricature their opponents and tie them to deeply negative aspects of their party's nominee. This 21-page report includes 6 charts and tables, plus three appendices. Apppendix A offers nine charts that breaks out spending estimates for President, Senate, House, Governor, Attorney General, State Assemblies, County/Local, and State Ballot issues. Appendix B offers our Political Local Ad $pending Report (LA$R)(TM) and Appendix C delivers state-by-state spending estimates. An Executive Summary and Table of Contents version is available for free.

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Thanks in part to Donald Trump, media will enjoy an extra $357 million in political advertising this year beyond our initial estimates. Based on the first three months of 2016, we're adding 3.1% to our estimates, figuring that a record $11.7 billion will be spent on political advertising this year. This 21-page report recasts our 2016 Political Advertising estimates and shows which types of media -- and which states -- stand to benefit the most.


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