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Mid-term Election Ad Spend to Approach 2020 Levels

By: Mary White    September 30, 2021

2022 is a midterm election year. A midterm election refers to elections held halfway through a president’s term in office. Typically, ad spending for these elections is not a huge concern for advertisers; however, according to Inside Audio Marketing, analysts have already reported Q2 2021 political ad spend at 107% higher than Q2 2019. This is very surprising, since Q2 2019 was the preamble to a presidential race which typically sees the most spending.

Even without a presidential race, there will be Senate, House and gubernatorial elections happening in the 2022 midterms. Audiences will be targeted through broadcast ads on radio, TV and social platforms.

Even though some think radio is a niche audience, a Cumulus Media executive is making the case for radio to get more of the political ad dollars because it is a platform that can reach a mass audience.

Radio could have more political dollars in its pockets due to the erosion of linear television ratings. While OTT streaming is growing, it does not have the inventory needed to handle the demand. That is where radio can really work. Radio can handle the scale needed for political advertising with mass reach, and an efficient CPM.

Forecasts indicate that linear television will receive the largest share of political dollars, even with the decline in viewer ratings. OTT streaming, radio and digital media will also see an increase in dollars.

Even without a presidential election, ad spending totals for the 2021-2022 election are expected to approach $9 billion.