US political ad spending to soar in 2024 with TV media the biggest winner – report

By Chavi Mehta

(Reuters) – U.S. political advertising spend will likely jump by nearly a third in 2024 over the previous U.S. presidential election year, with TV media again taking a lion’s share of the dollars, according to a report by research firm Insider Intelligence.

The figure is expected to rise by about 30% from 2020 to $12.32 billion this year, the report said. Ad spend on traditional media, most of which is TV, will rise 7.9% and account for 71.9% of all spend.

That would be welcome news for major news networks such as Fox News, Warner Bros Discovery-owned CNN and Comcast’s MSNBC, which have in recent quarters grappled with muted ad spending.

Five Republican candidates are jostling to be their party’s presidential nominee for the 2024 election, while President Joe Biden is the presumptive Democratic nominee.

Digital platforms, which have historically drawn only a small chunk of political ad dollars, are expected to see a spike of 156% from 2020, with Meta Platforms and Google both expected to see strong growth.

While political ad spend is a small contributor to Google’s total ad revenue, it is expected to more than triple to $553.2 million as more marketers take to its YouTube platform.

“Campaigns and issue advocacy groups are shifting more spending to digital channels in line with the wider changes to the contours of the ad market,” said Peter Newman, forecasting director at Insider Intelligence.

Meta’s social media platforms, mainly Facebook, are also expected to receive a boost. TikTok, Meta’s biggest rival, does not permit political ads on the platform.

Insider Intelligence said digital media platforms, however, can also become hotbeds of misinformation during the election season, and “deepfakes” will be a concern this year.

These risks will mean that brands will have to be “extra cautious” about exposure to such content, said Paul Verna, the vice president of content at Insider Intelligence.

“This perfect storm of risk factors will make 2024 an especially challenging year for brand marketers.”

(Reporting by Chavi Mehta in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)