The 2016 presidential election will see a 20 percent increase in ad spending with digital breaking $1 billion for the first time, according to a report by Borrell Associates, a firm that tracks ad spending.
That increase is projected to bring the total spent in the 2015-16 cycle to $11.4 billion by the time votes are counted.
In addition to the expenditures stemming from the contest for the Democratic and Republican presidential nominations, “almost half of that money will be spent at the local level, delivering messages about candidates and issues concerning governors, state legislative districts, ballot issues, and regional and city governments,” according to the report titled “2015–2016 Political Advertising Outlook,” released Tuesday.
Meanwhile, digital consultants will be big winners this cycle with online ad spending projected to crack the $1 billion level for the first time in 2016, the report stated. The bulk of that spending, below the presidential level, will be made by House candidates who the authors, led by Kip Cassino, project will drop more than $176.6 million on digital.
That’s followed by city and local elections where $134.6 is projected to be spent on online ads. Still, the digital total is only about 10 percent of ad money being spent by campaigns, the authors noted, “a far cry from the 30% to 50% of budgets that other ad categories earmark for digital media.” That won’t last though.